Robber who threatened shop owner with axe in £25k jewels raid jailed
- Credit: Archant
An armed robber who held an axe over the head of a Suffolk jeweller and forced him to hand over £25,000 of jewellery has been jailed for eight years.
The owner was loading stock from his shop into the boot of his car in Quay Street, Sudbury at around 5.30pm when Stuart Bocock, who was wearing a balaclava, ordered him to hand over a bag containing jewellery.
The owner’s wife, who was standing nearby, looked up and saw Bocock holding an axe over her husband’s head.
The owner fell to the ground during the incident and while Bocock took the bag containing the jewellery another man put his hands round the neck of the owner’s wife to restrain her, Ipswich Crown Court heard.
During the robbery the victims’ mobile phones and a handbag were stolen, said Lori Tucker, prosecuting.
Following Bocock’s arrest police found text messages on his mobile phone relating to him trying to sell the stolen jewellery.
The court heard that the robbery on December 18 last year was part of a month long spree of offending by Bocock and another man during which £11,000 stock was stolen from Boots in Sudbury and cash was stolen during burglaries at the Nethergate Brewery in Long Melford and Hennessy’s Lifestyle Cafe
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Sentencing Bocock on Tuesday (November 10) Judge Emma Peters said the victim’s lives had been turned upside down by the robbery and they were no longer sure if they wanted to continue running their business.
“The wielding of an axe was a terrifying aspect of this robbery,” said the judge.
Bocock, 30, of Thorntondale Road, Doncaster, admitted conspiracy to burgle and conspiracy to rob between December 11 last year and January 17 this year and threatening a man with an axe.
The court heard that on December 13 last year Bocock and another man had pulled up outside Boots in Market Place Sudbury in a Renault Kadjar and got out leaving the engine running and the driver”s door and a rear passenger door open.
The men were wearing ski masks and used a sledgehammer to smash glass in the main door.
During the raid they stole goods including perfume and aftershave, worth £11,000 which Bocock later tried to sell.
As the men left the store with the stolen goods in a large builder’s sack they were challenged by two members of the public, said Mr Tucker.
One of the men ripped off a piece of paper that was covering the registration number on the Renault and when one of them asked Bocock’s accomplice what they were doing he was threatened with a metal pipe.
On January 8 this year Bocock and another man, who both had their faces covered, forcibly entered the Nethergate Brewery in Long Melford by smashing glass in the front door.
Cabinets inside the premises were pushed over and paperwork thrown on the floor and a sledgehammer was used to break into a safe.
The men stole £3,000 from the safe, including charity cash, and damaged a car park barrier which appeared to have been rammed.
The same night the men broke into Hennessey’s Lifestyle Cafe and stole several hundred pounds of cash after smashing the front door with a sledgehammer.
Oliver Haswell, for Bocock, said his client was genuinely remorseful and hoped the victims would agree to meet him one day so he could explain why he had committed the robbery.
He said Bocock wanted to help police trace some of the stolen jewellery.