March 8 2014 Latest news:
Tuesday, January 14, 2014
A fifth member of a gang who surrounded and attacked a soldier like a “pack of wolves” before robbing and leaving him unconscious has been locked up for 40 months.
Four gang members were jailed in November but the sentencing of 20-year-old Mitchell Ambrose, of Huckleberry Crescent, Ipswich, was heard at Ipswich Crown Court yesterday so he could also be sentenced for his part in a “mindless drunken vandalism” spree, four months before the robbery.
Jack Shilton, who maintains helicopters at Wattisham Airfield, was punched in the face and kicked in the head by five men who stole his wallet and phone on June 6 last year.
As the 21-year-old lay unconscious after the late-night attack in Queens Way, Ipswich, gang members were seen “bumping fists” as if they were proud of what they had done, the court was told.
Jailing four of the men in November, Judge Rupert Overbury described them as acting like “a pack of wolves determined on its prey” and said there was an element of degradation in the way one of the men kicked Mr Shilton as he lay on the ground and another dragged him along the road by his underwear.
“While your victim has served this country, your country, in Afghanistan, to protect you and the rest of us from the threat of future harm, you have behaved in a cowardly and despicable fashion. Each of you is a disgrace to your family and a disgrace to your community,” the judge said.
Mr Shilton suffered a bruised kidney, lumps on his head and suspected broken ribs in the attack.
Jerran Hart, 22, of Ravenswood Avenue, Ipswich, and Adam Poulter, 26, of no fixed address, who denied robbing Mr Shilton, but were found guilty by a jury after a trial in September. Poulter was jailed for three years and nine months and Hart was jailed for three years and six months.
Matthew Kersey, 30, of Campbell Road, Ipswich, admitted robbing Mr Shilton and assaulting his friend Peter Scott and was jailed for 32 months and Jamie Duncan, 23, of Damselfly Road, Ipswich, admitted robbery and was jailed for 30 months.
Yesterday Ambrose was sentenced to 32 months detention in a young offenders’ institution for the robbery, which he had admitted, with eight months to run consecutively for five offences of theft and one of criminal damage committed on February 16 last year, which he also admitted.
Also before the court yesterday were James Johnson, 20, of Wellington Road, Ipswich, and Lauren Hart, 19, of Lindbergh Road, Ipswich.
Johnson admitted two offences of damaging property, attempted arson of a VW Passat and theft and was sentenced to 12 months detention in a young offenders’ institution.
Hart admitted handling two stolen car park signs and was given a nine-month community order and ordered to do 60 hours unpaid community work and pay £150 costs.
Sentencing Ambrose and Johnson for the offences on February 16, Judge Overbury said between them they had stolen property and caused damage totalling £3,380 during a spree of “drunken mindless vandalism”.
He said the theft offences related to valuable marine equipment including emergency flares and damage to boats and cars.
The judge said one of the offences admitted by Johnson related to £1,900 worth of damage to car windows and another concerned £500 damage to a moped.
Paul Donegan, for Ambrose, said his client had been on the periphery of the attack on Mr Shilton.
“He is young and has behaved foolishly and badly,” he said.
Lori Turner, for Johnson, said her client could offer no explanation for his behaviour. “He was with friends and was being egged on by others and rather like a sheep he followed,” she said.
Craig Marchant, for Hart, said the items she had handled were of low value and had been recovered,