Man who carried out robbery with ‘very realistic’ imitation gun in Lowestoft is jailed

Ben McRoberts has been jailed for six years for robbery and burglary offences in Lowestoft.

Ben McRoberts has been jailed for six years for robbery and burglary offences in Lowestoft. - Credit: Archant

A man who robbed a man in the corridor of a Suffolk block of flats while pointing a replica Glock handgun at him has been jailed for 72 months.

Before Ipswich Crown Court was Ben McRoberts, 29, of no fixed address, who denied robbery, possessing an imitation firearm and having a knife, but was found guilty after a two day trial.

He admitted possessing an imitation firearm and an offence of burglary.

Jailing McRoberts, Judge John Devaux said the gun used during the robbery was a very realistic imitation.

The court heard that James Beswick went to a block of flats in Surrey Street, Lowestoft with McRoberts on March 7 this year to get drugs, but when they got there McRoberts took him to a corridor where there were no CCTV cameras.

McRoberts took a gun out of a sports bag and pointed it at Mr Beswick while ordering him to empty his pockets, said Jane Oldfield, prosecuting.

Mr Beswick was frightened and handed over £21 cash, a lighter, his mobile phone, a bank card and when asked he also gave McRoberts the PIN for the card, the court heard.

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Mc Roberts then told Mr Beswick to follow him for a couple of minutes before letting him go on his way.

Mr Beswick subsequently reported the robbery to the police.

Three days later, on March 10, police found McRoberts sitting on a wall close to his father’s home in Raglan Street, Lowestoft.

Officers arrested him and close to where he was sitting they found a kitchen knife and the replica Glock pistol, said Miss Oldfield.

She said when the gun was examined it was found it could not be fired.

When McRoberts was searched after being taken to a local police station he was found in possession of a mobile phone which Mr Beswick identified as the one taken from him during the robbery.

When McRoberts was interviewed by police he was asked about the alleged robbery and the knife and the gun found near him and he answered “no comment” to all questions put to him, said Miss Oldfield.

McRoberts chose not to give evidence during his trial.

Detective Inspector Matthew Adams said: “Although the firearm was not a real weapon we feel that McRoberts was a dangerous man and are therefore pleased with this lengthy sentence.

“I hope this serves as a deterrent for anyone considering the use of imitation weapons to commit crime or cause fear of violence against others.

“I would like to thank all of the officers involved in the search and arrest of this man who will now be behind bars for some time, meaning that he can’t commit further crime in Lowestoft.”