Abduction attempt by released prisoner

AN ARMED robber released from prison on licence is back behind bars today after admitting the attempted abduction of a Suffolk baby.Bryan Lockwood, 32, was one of three men who forced his way into a Stowmarket home last November and attempted to snatch a one-year-old boy.

AN ARMED robber released from prison on licence is back behind bars today after admitting the attempted abduction of a Suffolk baby.

Bryan Lockwood, 32, was one of three men who forced his way into a Stowmarket home last November and attempted to snatch a one-year-old boy.

He was serving a six-year prison sentence for armed robbery at the time but had been released early on licence.

The news emerged on the day a government report was released into early release and electronic tagging which revealed offenders under home curfew had committed four manslaughters, one murder, 56 woundings and more than 700 assaults since the scheme was launched in 1999.

Lockwood was not under home curfew when the kidnap bid took place in Stowmarket but had been released early and was wanted by police after breaching the terms of his licence.

He was picked up by officers in London on November 8 and returned to Wormwood Scrubs prison.

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Police did know at the time that a few hours earlier Lockwood was one of three men who barged their way into a house in the Stowupland Road area of Stowmarket as part of a kidnap attempt.

The gang knocked on an elderly couples' door at 1am claiming to be police officers and forced their way in armed with a cosh.

Dc Petrina Webb, who investigated the case, said: “The elderly couple had been in bed for three hours when they got woken up by a knock at the door and someone said 'it's the police'.

“The lady came downstairs and opened the door and as soon as it was open, they forced the door backwards.

“The husband came down wondering what all the noise was about and the main offender, who we believe was Bryan Lockwood, made him lay down on the floor and held the cosh over his head.”

Dc Webb said the men asked where the couple's paternal grandson was before one of the offenders searched the property for the boy.

The 13-month-old was not at the address and the gang made-off with the victims' credit cards which they used at a cash point in Barnet, north London, eight hours later.

CCTV at the Barnet cash point and forensic evidence at the property linked Lockwood to the kidnap attempt and he was later arrested.

He had been released from a six-year sentence for armed robbery at the time of the offence and had been released on licence - he is thought to have been living in the Muswell Hill area.

By the time Suffolk police arrested him he had been released on bail again and was staying at a probation hostel in Luton - he has since been returned to Wormwood Scrubs once again.

Lockwood, of Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, pleaded guilty to attempted abduction and handling stolen goods in a hearing at Ipswich Crown Court on September 29. He is due to be sentenced at the same court on October 20.

It is thought prosecutors in the case may apply for Lockwood to remain in handcuffs throughout the hearing as he is known to be violent.

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Weblink: www.suffolk.police.uk

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HOURS of police time were spent on the hunt and conviction of Bryan Lockwood.

Dc Petrina Webb, who worked tirelessly to secure the 32-year-old's conviction has travelled hundreds of miles in the hunt for the would-be kidnappers.

She said the offence had left the victims' severely traumatised and police had worked hard to bring Lockwood to justice.

She said: “The lady is not good at all. The couple can't go on holiday, she can't walk any great distance and she has had two strokes since the incident happened which the hospital believes were brought on by the stress. Their lives have changed totally.

“I haven't felt so passionately about a case for a long time. It was a terrifying ordeal for the victims.”

Dc Webb had to travel to Barnet three or four times to follow-up lines of inquiry and had to travel to Luton to interview Lockwood.

Police and prosecutors also worked to move the court case from Luton to Ipswich to make it easier for witnesses to give evidence in the event of a trial.

Dc Webb said Lockwood could now face up to seven years in prison.

However, had he been convicted of an initial charge of aggravated burglary which was later dropped, he would have faced life in prison.

Police are continuing to investigate the abduction attempt.

Anyone with information should call Stowmarket CID on 01473 613500.

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