Armed robbery trial begins

A GETAWAY car used by three men involved in an armed robbery in Walton, near Felixstowe, ended up embedded in a shop window in Ipswich a court heard.Earlier, one of the occupants of the vehicle, 30-year-old Ian Brooks had walked into the Alldays store in Walton High Street with a sawn-off shotgun and ordered store manager Lesley Moore to hand over money, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

A GETAWAY car used by three men involved in an armed robbery in Walton, near Felixstowe, ended up embedded in a shop window in Ipswich a court heard.

Earlier, one of the occupants of the vehicle, 30-year-old Ian Brooks had walked into the Alldays store in Walton High Street with a sawn-off shotgun and ordered store manager Lesley Moore to hand over money, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Terrified mother-of-two Mrs Moore handed over £15 from one till before being ordered to open a second till containing £30.

Brooks had then told her to get money from the safe at which stage Mrs Moore had ushered another member of staff into an office and had activated the panic alarm after locking the office door, said Lindsay Cox prosecuting.


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Mrs Moore later told police that she feared that Brooks was going to shoot her and described how he tracked her movements with the shotgun.

Brooks had run from the shop to a nearby street where a BMW allegedly containing Gavin Friston and Paul Cunnington was waiting.

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The car had driven to a petrol station where Brooks had made some purchases before stopping at a BP garage where Friston allegedly filled the car up with petrol.

The vehicle was then driven along the A14 towards Ipswich where police began giving chase, said Mr Cox.

At one stage a lorry driver allegedly saw Friston, who was sitting in the front passenger seat, throw the sawn off shotgun used in the robbery out of the car window.

Mr Cox said the car, which was driven by Cunnington, had turned off the A14 at the Woodbridge exit and had been driven at speeds of up to 100mph.

The vehicle had driven past Kesgrave High School at 70mph and during the chase had gone through red traffic lights and had narrowly missed hitting an oncoming car as it went the wrong way round a roundabout, said Mr Cox.

Police officers who were pursuing the car abandoned the chase because of concern about the safety of members of the public. The getaway car finally came to a halt when Cunnington lost control of the vehicle and it smashed into a shop window in Woodbridge Road, Ipswich.

All three occupants had decamped and were arrested the same day.

Friston suffered a broken ankle in the collision and was taken to hospital for treatment before being interviewed by police.

Brooks, of Henniker Road, Ipswich has admitted robbery at the Alldays store on May 16 this year. Friston, 30, of The Wheelwrights, Trimley St Mary and Cunnington, 30, of The Walk, Felixstowe have both denied being involved in the robbery.

Friston and Cunnington have also denied an alternative offence of assisting Ian Brooks after he had committed the robbery.

Mr Cox told the court that Cunnington had admitted driving the BMW dangerously.

Giving evidence for the prosecution Brooks told the court that Friston and Cunnington had told him to commit the robbery.

He said they told him they needed money and he would have to do the robbery because they lived in the area and could be recognised.

Brooks said he told Friston and Cunnington that he "didn't do robberies" but said Cunnington told him the if he didn't do as he was told, "serious stuff" would happen to him.

The trial continues.

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