A GETAWAY driver who was involved in the robbery of a security guard outside Lloyds TSB bank in Nacton Road has been locked up for 30 months.

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Kevin Clarke, of Dillwyn Street, Ipswich, pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to commit robbery, but was found guilty after a trial last month and sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court yesterday.

Heinz Tieck, who worked for G4S, was unloading bags of cash from the back of his security van at around 12.30pm on March 2 last year, when he was attacked,the court heard.

He then saw two men run off with five bags of cash, containing £1,750 that he had been about to deliver to the bank. The two robbers ran to nearby Gorse Road, where they got into a car which drove off at speed.

A member of the public heard shouting and screaming coming from outside the bank and after seeing two men run past him and get into a car, he made a note of the registration number.

The car was later traced to 30-year-old Clarke, who denied acting as the getaway driver for the robbery.

After he was found guilty following a trial last month, his sentence was adjourned until yesterday for a pre-sentence report.

During his trial Clarke claimed he unwittingly became involved in the robbery after three men he met the day before asked him to give them a lift to a hair appointment in Nacton Road.

Giving evidence, he said he stayed in his car with one of the men while the other two got out. He said when the men returned to the car they told him to drive off as they had a row in the barber’s shop.

He told the court he dropped the men off and had been mending a chain on his bike when he was arrested.

Following his sentencing, Detective Inspector Tonya Antonis at Suffolk Police said: “The sentence passed to Kevin Clarke is a reflection of the serious nature of this crime and the commitment from all those involved in securing justice for this type of offence.

“Clarke acted as the driver during this robbery, and although he did not take the money from the victim, he is held equally responsible for his actions. This was extremely traumatic for the victim, who was targeted in daylight hours, whilst carrying out his job.

“Officers investigating this case are committed to continuing their enquiries to bring the other people involved in this crime to justice for their actions.”

Have you been a victim of crime? Email colin.adwent@archant.co.uk

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