Video: Robber flies 6,000 miles . . . to jail

REMORSEFUL and ashamed Ipswich armed robber Joe Burrows flew nearly 6,000 miles back to England to atone for his crime.

REMORSEFUL and ashamed Ipswich armed robber Joe Burrows flew nearly 6,000 miles back to England to atone for his crime.

Today, his guilt trip has ended with him serving an 18-month jail sentence after pulling a knife during a raid on Ladbrokes in Hening Avenue, Ipswich.

He returned to England from the Philippines and walked into a police station to confess to robbing Ladbrokes, in Hening Avenue on the Ravenswood estate in 2007.

Ipswich Crown Court heard the 28-year-old had fled to Spain after the robbery on May 30, 2007, to cure his cocaine addiction and turn his life around.

While a fugitive for just over 18 months, Burrows weaned himself off the Class A drug and set up a successful business in the Philippines.

However, haunted by what he had done, he returned to face his punishment and repay the �740 he had stolen so he could get on with the rest of his life.

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Prosecutor Godfried Duah told the court Burrows had walked into the Ladbrokes shop at 11.40am and gone up to the counter where Maureen Page was working.

Although wearing a hooded top, his face could clearly be seen on the shop's closed circuit television as he produced a knife in his right hand and demanded money from the till be put in a carrier bag.

Despite this being done he insisted more cash be handed over from another till.

Mr Duah said once the cash was given to Burrows, who lived in the Ipswich area at the time, he turned and walked out of the bookies.

Having fled to Spain and then the Philippines, Burrows was aware police were looking for him in England and returned, coming back to Basildon police station on January 26 to hand himself in.

The court heard he told perplexed officers he wanted to clear the matter up and move on with his life.

Micaila Williams, mitigating, said Burrows, of Gardiners Close, Basildon, was under pressure from drug dealers at the time of the robbery, who were threatening him and his family if his debts were not paid.

He was struggling to fund a �150 a day habit, which he had fallen into over a period of six months.

Miss Williams said: “This was a man who was very reluctant to be committing this offence.”

Burrows, who had no previous convictions, went to Spain after the raid to work with a friend and restart his life. An opportunity then arose for him to start what has become a successful business in the Philippines.

However, Burrows knew it would only be a matter of time before he would be caught.

The court heard Burrows told Mrs Page he did not want to hurt her. She said his hand holding the knife was shaking and Burrows seemed nervous and polite during the robbery.

Miss Williams said: “Mr Burrows wants me to express his remorse for his behaviour. He is ashamed, so much so, he didn't want his family to be here today.”

Sentencing Burrows, Judge Peter Thompson told him, said: “I regard you as an exceptional defendant. It's unusual to find somebody coming back to this country having run away, some 18 months later, to surrender yourself and accept what you have done.”