Suffolk shopkeeper grappled with armed robber in ‘prolonged struggle’
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A judge said a Lowestoft newsagent was lucky to escape injury after he bravely grappled with an armed robber who was on bail when who brandished a knife to his throat.
Jac Burrows, 23, was desperate for cash to pay off a drugs debts so he held up S K Newsagents in Oxford Road, but the shopworker, who was alone in the store at the time, bravely fought back, Norwich Crown Court heard.
Martin Ivory, prosecuting, said there was a “prolonged struggle” which was caught on the shop security camera, but Burrows eventually managed to grab the till drawer containing about £1,200.
Mr Ivory said that Burrows was then arrested nearby, with the help of members of the public.
Mr Ivory said Burrows was on bail for stealing cigarettes from a man in Corton when he committed the robbery on March 21.
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In an impact statement, the 37-year-old victim of the robbery said the incident had made him much more wary when working at the store and said he had run shops in London before moving to Suffolk with his family and had never experienced anything like that before.
Burrows, of no fixed address, admitted robbery and possession of a knife and also theft of cigarettes, common assault and possession of a bladed article and was jailed for a total of four and a half years.
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Sentencing him, Judge Anthony Bate praised the bravery of the shopworker who had been threatened with a knife, which at times came close to his neck: “The shopkeeper resisted with great determination and courage.”
He added: “He was lucky to escape without injury and that is no thanks to you.”
He said it had been a prolonged struggle and Burrows had been on bail for another offence when he committed the robbery.
Andrew Oliver, for Burrows, said that he was full of remorse and said Burrows had written a letter to the court, which he wanted to read out himself.
Burows, who was sobbing in the dock, said that he was ashamed of what he had done and was addicted to alcohol and crack cocaine at the time of the offence and owed £2,500 for a drugs debt.
“I saw no other way out. I’m sorry for what I have done. It is my own fault.”
He said he was now clean of drugs and wanted to make a fresh start.