Car-jack victim speaks

IPSWICH'S first car-jack victim today spoke of the terrifying moment when a hooded robber put a hammer to his head and threatened to kill him if he didn't hand over his car.

IPSWICH'S first car-jack victim today spoke of the terrifying moment when a hooded robber put a hammer to his head and threatened to kill him if he didn't hand over his car.

Still badly shaken from Sunday night's horrifying attack and nursing cuts to his arm and a scratched retina, Matthew Casburn recalled the moment the thief smashed the driver's window of his blue Fiat Punto hire car and told him to choose between the car and his life.

"I looked in my mirror and I saw the person was right up against my side of the car. As I turned to look he smashed the window," Mr Casburn said.

"He was shouting 'get out of the car, get out of the car'.

"He held the weapon to my head saying he was going to kill me if I didn't get out.

"He pushed it against my head. I'm fairly certain it was a hammer."

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The 20-year-old added: "I thought he was going to hit me with the weapon. He was so urgent to get into the car."

Mr Casburn had been working his second job delivering pizzas at about 9.15pm on Sunday when he stopped on Chevallier Street near the junction with Bramford Lane to allow another car to pass.

As he waited for the road to clear he saw the man, dressed in a coat and gloves and with his head shielded either by a hood or a hat, walking along the road.

Within seconds his nightmare unfolded when the man suddenly turned attacker.

Glass from the broken window cut Mr Casburn's forearm and scratched the retina in his left eye. Despite suffering shock from the window being broken next to his head he acceded to the car-jacker's demands to get out of the car.

"As I was getting out I fell to the floor. By this time he had got into the car, closed the door and started it up," Mr Casburn, who works in an electrical wholesale store, said.

"I was shouting at him telling him to stop. I had blood all over me, I didn't know what injuries I had."

The attacker, who is described as white, about 6ft, between 20 and 30 years old and of slim build, drove off down Bramford Lane, leaving Mr Casburn frightened and injured by the side of the road.

"The fact he was armed with a weapon makes it a lot scarier," he said.

"It was quite lucky he didn't make me drive. He could have got into the other side of the car and made me drive."

The car-jacker was last seen driving along Bramford Lane toward Bramford.

Police yesterday recovered the burnt-out shell of the Fiat, which Mr Casburn had been driving after his own car was damaged in an accident a month ago.

Detective Inspector Alan Seaman, who is leading the investigation, said the fact a weapon was used during the robbery made it extremely serious.

"It's a very serious offence and potentially its consequences could have been much more serious," he said.

"When a man is threatened with some sort of weapon…the chances of injury are quite high."

Anyone with information about the car-jacking should call Detective Constable Joe Manuel at Ipswich CID on 01473 383133.

Have you been a victim of serious car crime? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or visit the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk.

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