Teenager denies robbing man of gold chain in Ipswich town centre

Ipswich Crown Court. Picture: SIMON PARKER

Ipswich Crown Court. Picture: SIMON PARKER - Credit: Archant

A man was robbed of a gold chain in Ipswich town centre by two teenagers after being told he was being “taxed” for walking down the street, it has been alleged.

Graham Read was in the Buttermarket outside New Look at around 3pm when he heard a woman make a comment about the gold chain and crucifix he was wearing, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

The next thing he knew two black males approached him and stood either side of him and asked if he had a problem with them, said Simon Walters, prosecuting.

Mr Read said he didn’t have a problem with them but was then told by one of the youths: “This is my street and I’m going to tax you for walking along it.”

Mr Read then saw that one of the youths had a small knife sticking out of a pocket in his trousers.

“He was frightened and took off his chain and handed it over and the two males walked away,” said Mr Walters.

Before the court is a 16-year-old youth, who cannot be identified because of his age.

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He has denied robbing Mr Read on January 30 this year.

The police were contacted immediately after the alleged robbery and when they went into New Look they found the youth, who was only 15 at the time, and an 18-year-old man who were with two females.

They were searched and one of the females was found to have Mr Read’s chain in a bag, said Mr Walters.

When police officers spoke to the defendant he gave a false name but later admitted lying and gave his correct name.

The court heard that the 18-year-old man, who was with the defendant in New Look, had pleaded guilty to the robbery.

The court heard that Mr Read’s necklace had a 26-inch white gold chain with a crucifix and was worth several hundred pounds.

The court also heard that in a police interview the defendant admitted being in Ipswich town centre on the day in question but had denied taking part in a robbery.

The trial, which is expected to finish this week, continues.