Stowmarket: �40k jewellery thief jailed for attack on wheelchair-bound man

A SUFFOLK man who carried out a vicious assault on a wheelchair-bound man in his home and later stole a suitcase containing �40,000 worth of jewellery and designer clothing from a rail passenger has been locked up for 45 months.

Michael Jay went to the home of Nicholas Kemp in Eastward Place, Stowmarket, late at night in June last year while he was recovering from injuries, including nine fractures to his shin, a shattered ankle and a fractured arm he had suffered in a car crash several weeks earlier in which a man died.

Earlier this year, Kemp was jailed for five-and-a-half years after admitting an offence of causing the death of 20-year-old Aiden Jones, of Orwell Road, Stowmarket, on May 1, 2009 while under the influence of alcohol.

At his sentencing hearing in January, the court heard that Kemp had taken drugs and was twice the drink-drive limit when his car veered into the path of an oncoming car driven by Mr Jones.

Kemp had spent the evening in local pubs and was driving along the B1113 at Badley Hill between Needham Market and Stowmarket shortly before midnight when the collision happened.

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Mr Jones died at the scene of the accident, two of his passengers were injured and a 15-year-old girl in Kemp’s car suffered a back injury and a broken ankle.

Kemp was seriously injured in the crash on May 1 last year and was recovering at his home on June 20 when Michael Jay burst in and attacked him because he was upset that Kemp had accused him of stealing some of his tobacco.

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Jay, 35, of Kent Road, Stowmarket, had denied assaulting Kemp causing him actual bodily harm, but yesterday changed his plea to guilty.

He was jailed for three years for the assault on Kemp with nine months to run consecutively for stealing a suitcase containing jewellery and designer clothing worth �40,000 from a passenger on a Liverpool Street to Norwich train.

Sentencing Jay, Deputy Judge Nicholas Philpot said Jay had targeted the suitcase because it looked expensive and had been caught when he tried to sell the jewellery, �22,000 worth of which was still missing.

The opportunist theft occurred at Stowmarket shortly after the train pulled into the station. The suitcase had been stowed in a luggage rack by its owner who only realised it was missing when she reached Norwich.

The stolen jewellery included a �15,000 diamond bracelet and an �8,000 pair of gold and diamond cluster earrings.

Jay had initially been on trial accused of assaulting Kemp with Peter Shefford, 35, of Bloomfield Road, Haverhill.

Shefford had denied the charge and after Jay changed his plea to guilty yesterday the prosecution dropped its case against him and a not guilty verdict was entered on the court record.

Nicola Devas, for Jay, said her client and Kemp had been friends and Jay had assisted him following the accident and the theft was opportunistic.

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