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Man jailed for role in two ram-raids on village Co-op and SPAR stores

PUBLISHED: 17:06 14 April 2020 | UPDATED: 17:06 14 April 2020

Jesse Gatehouse was jailed for 52 months at Ipswich Crown Court  Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY

Jesse Gatehouse was jailed for 52 months at Ipswich Crown Court Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY

Suffolk Constabulary

A man has been jailed for more than four years for his part in ram-raids on two Suffolk shops.

The Co-op in Debenham the morning after the raid  Picture: KATY SANDALLSThe Co-op in Debenham the morning after the raid Picture: KATY SANDALLS

Jesse Gatehouse, 30, was awaiting sentence for one destructive burglary when he admitted being part of an earlier attempted raid.

He was visited in jail by Suffolk’s Operation Converter unit, which allows defendants to admit otherwise unsolved crimes to be taken into consideration when sentenced.

A defibrillator beside the cash point at the Co-op in Debenham was aslo damaged in the ram raid  Picture: ARCHANTA defibrillator beside the cash point at the Co-op in Debenham was aslo damaged in the ram raid Picture: ARCHANT

Gatehouse, of Defoe Crescent, Colchester, was among three men who used a stolen forklift to smash into the Co-op in Debenham, causing more than £30,000 of damage and making off with a cash machine containing £78,420, at about 3.30am on November 12.

Two more stolen vehicles were involved – an Audi S4, taken from a driveway in Chelmsford, and a Ford Transit, stolen from Bures village hall, before its roof was removed to accommodate the cash machine.

The Co-op in Debenham the morning after the raid  Picture: KATY SANDALLSThe Co-op in Debenham the morning after the raid Picture: KATY SANDALLS

Two people fled in the Audi, while the machine and contents were later traced by a tracker to a disused barn in Syleham.

As officers made their way to the scene, at about 4.20am, they encountered a red Audi driving towards them on Syleham Road.

A stolen Land Rover was used to smash through the front of a SPAR shop in Glemsford  Picture: ARCHANTA stolen Land Rover was used to smash through the front of a SPAR shop in Glemsford Picture: ARCHANT

The driver attempted a U-turn in the narrow road but crashed the car into a ditch.

Gatehouse surrendered in the back seat, while two men fled on foot and are yet to be caught.

A stolen Land Rover was used to smash through the front of a SPAR shop in Glemsford  Picture: ARCHANTA stolen Land Rover was used to smash through the front of a SPAR shop in Glemsford Picture: ARCHANT

A week earlier, just before 2.45am on November 4, a stolen Land Rover was reversed into the front of a SPAR shop in Glemsford, near Sudbury.

A red Audi estate was witnessed leaving the premises, where the damaged Land Rover was left behind and nothing was stolen.

A stolen Land Rover was used to smash through the front of a SPAR shop in Glemsford  Picture: ARCHANTA stolen Land Rover was used to smash through the front of a SPAR shop in Glemsford Picture: ARCHANT

In total, Gatehouse admitted six charges covering the two raids, including burglary, vehicle theft and criminal damage, for which he was sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court on Tuesday.

Russell Butcher, prosecuting, said the offences took significant planning and were aggravated by their impact on the community.

Kelly Fernandez-Lee, mitigating, said Gatehouse had been very co-operative with detectives, despite his reluctance to name his accomplices.

She said the father-of-three played a subordinate role in the raids and was genuinely remorseful.

Before sentencing Gatehouse to 52 months’ custody, Judge David Goodin told Gatehouse: “As commercial burglaries go, they don’t come much more serious.”


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