Jailed in Suffolk 2020: See the criminals locked up this year
- Credit: Archant
Drug dealers, sex offenders and robbers were among the criminals put behind bars in Suffolk during 2020.
Here we take a month-by-month look back at 12 criminals locked up over the year.
A Framlingham man who groomed and raped two young girls was jailed for 16 years at the start of the year.
Dean Thomas, Fairfield Road, Framlingham, was charged with 22 child sexual offences in total, dating back to 2015.
Thomas, 33, denied 12 offences of raping a child under 13, two offences of assault of a child under 13 by penetration, two offences of attempted rape, two offences of attempting to assault a child under 13, two offences of sexually assaulting a child under 13 and two offences of causing or inciting a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity.
But after a trial at Ipswich Crown Court in December 2019, Thomas was found guilty of two offences of raping a child.
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The jury was unable to reach a verdict on the remaining charges and they will remain on file as prosecutors did not seek a retrial in the case.
Appearing before Judge Emma Peters on January 6, Thomas was jailed for 16 years and also given a one year extended licence period.
He was made the subject of a sexual harm prevention order for life and ordered to sign the sex offenders’ registry indefinitely.
Judge Peters told Thomas he had groomed the victims and encouraged them to keep what he had done to them a secret.
Speaking after the sentencing, Detective Inspector Simon Bridgland said: "These were horrific offences against very young girls who were groomed and sexually assaulted by Thomas. It was clearly an emotive investigation for all those involved and I would like to thank the case officer and safeguarding team for their dedication and professionalism.
"I would also like to pay tribute to the victims’ families for their courage in supporting the investigation and hope that the court result will bring some kind of closure and allow them to move forward positively in their lives.”
A 25-year-old who attacked a man with a claw hammer before chasing him across Bury St Edmunds’ market square in broad daylight was jailed in February.
Samuel Ryder, of Firtree Close, Bury St Edmunds, hit Stephen Perrio at least twice with the weapon outside Poundland around 3.45pm on October 16, 2019.
On a busy market day in the town, Ryder then proceeded to chase Mr Perrio across the town square with the hammer and was seen by a number of shoppers.
During the chase, Ryder was heard telling Mr Perrio: "I am going to kill you."
Ryder offered no comment in much of his police interview but did claim he was carrying the hammer as he was doing work to his new flat.
He did not offer any explanation as to why he attacked Mr Perrio.
Ipswich Crown Court heard that Ryder and Mr Perrio were loosely known to each other having shared supported accommodation in Bury at one time.
Mr Perrio did not suffer any lasting injuries in the attack.
Judge Emma Peters said: "The fact that this was on market day in broad daylight in front of many shoppers must have been incredibly frightening for them."
Judge Peters sentenced Ryder to three years and eight months for attempted wounding with intent to cause GBH and one year for possession of an offensive weapon to run concurrently.
Four men involved in a plot to supply cocaine around Ipswich were given jail terms totalling nearly 28 years in March.
Sentencing the men on March 12, Judge Rupert Overbury said: 'Each of you was involved at different levels in this conspiracy which involved the organised supply of bulk amounts of high purity cocaine.'
Shaun McGovern, 34, of no fixed address, Luke Norris, 38, of Admiral Road, Pinewood, Ipswich, Paul Adams, 37, of Turret Lane, Ipswich, and Ross Lane, 31, of Mill Lane, Cotton, all admitted conspiring together and with others to supply cocaine between September 20, 2018, and January 12, 2019.
McGovern was jailed for nine years and five months, Lane received eight years and four months, Norris was jailed for five years and six months and Adams was jailed for four years and eight months.
Judge Overbury said Lane had organised the purchase of cocaine and arranged for the onward supply to dealers around the Ipswich area.
He said McGovern had played a leading role in the conspiracy but for a shorter period than Lane.
Judge Overbury said Norris had acted under Lane's instruction and had collected and delivered two kilograms of cocaine during the conspiracy.
He said Adams had been recruited by McGovern and had been involved in the conspiracy on January 11, 2019, after checking into the Belstead Brook Hotel with McGovern.
A "loner" who sparked a terror alert resulting in the evacuation of 60 homes was jailed for firearms possession.
Clinton Hicks was jailed for five years at Ipswich Crown Court on April 17.
Suspicious items were found at the 59-year-old’s ground floor flat in Normanshurst Close, Lowestoft, during a search by police on July 28, 2019.
Officers recovered two inert grenades and a revolver loaded with five of 46 blank rounds found in the flat along with a quantity of ball-bearings and chemicals.
Hicks was arrested on suspicion of possessing a firearm and being concerned in the commission, preparation and instigation of acts of terrorism.
Following an investigation by Counter Terrorism Command, no further action was taken in relation to the terrorism offence.
In January, on what would have been the first day of his trial, Hicks admitted possessing a prohibited firearm – a BBM Bruni Model .380 revolver – modified to be capable of discharging a lethal projectile after being imported from a Spanish firm dealing in airguns and replicas.
Judge Emma Peters described Hicks as a loner and a “relatively strange man”, whose only friends were cats, but she found no reason to spare Hicks the minimum mandatory five-year sentence.
A man who burgled two convenience stores before leading the police on a high-speed chase through the centre of Ipswich was locked up for four years.
Darrell Lambert, who was described as being homeless by the court at the time of the offences, led four police cars on a chase through the town in April.
He drove at double the speed limit, venturing across grass verges and pavements before threatening officers by telling them he thought he had Covid-19 when they stopped him.
The 33-year-old was sentenced on May 29 at Ipswich Crown Court after pleading guilty to two burglaries, two counts of assaulting an emergency worker, driving while disqualified and failing to provide a sample.
The court heard how on April 3 at around 11.30pm, Lambert had smashed his way into Seckford Golf Club in Woodbridge by throwing a concrete slab through a glass window.
A few hours later he was seen breaking into Martin’s Newsagents, Saxmundham, where he again carried out an untidy search and took alcohol and confectionery before driving away in the VW.
The number plate of the vehicle was caught on CCTV and officers later picked the car up in Civic Drive, Ipswich, at around 3.25am.
Lambert then led officers on a high-speed chase through the centre of Ipswich before driving eastwards.
Judge David Goodin said the acts were “perfectly appalling”, and sentenced Lambert to a total of four years in prison.
A man caught dressed in camouflage clothing and in possession of fake guns was jailed for 17 months.
David Heath, 41, of Lime Tree Place, Stowmarket, was sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court on June 8.
He was arrested after police were called to Station Road, Stowmarket, around 7.40pm on April 11.
Heath admitted two counts of possessing an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear at an earlier hearing and was sentenced to 12 months in jail – plus five for breach of a suspended sentence for knife possession in 2019.
Detective Sergeant Paul Cappleman, from Bury St Edmunds CID, said: “Heath was walking around the town, dressed in camouflage gear with imitation firearms, which would have caused considerable alarm to those individuals that saw him.
"It was a highly irresponsible act.
"This sentence from the courts will allow him to reflect in prison on the decision he made that day.”
A stalker who made his ex-partner’s life “a misery” through a campaign of harassment was jailed in June after changing his pleas in the first crown court trial since the March lockdown.
Darren Summers, 48, pleaded guilty to one count of stalking to cause serious alarm and distress and six counts of criminal damage on what was due to be the second day of his trial at Ipswich Crown Court.
Summers began stalking his ex-partner and damaged property belonging to her, her mother and her boss during a series of incidents in September and October 2019.
Prosecutors said the stalking behaviour began after the relationship between Summers and the woman ended on August 30.
Despite being told to stop contacting her, Summers continued to harass the woman and in one exchange told her “the good life was over”.
Summers, of Defoe Road, Ipswich, began monitoring the woman’s day-to-day movements and she “feared for her own safety”.
Judge Martyn Levett sentenced Summers to a total of three-and-a-half years in prison and issued a restraining order, banning Summers from contacting the victim.
A dangerous paedophile was handed an extended sentence of more than 14 years in August for sexually abusing schoolboys.
Music tutor David Brown was jailed for 11 years and one month, with an extended licence period of three years, for a string of sex offences against boys as young as seven at Ipswich Crown Court on August 21.
The 40-year-old was described as a “vile excuse for a man” by a victim’s mother and assessed as presenting a significant risk of causing serious harm by further offending.
Brown, formerly of Duke Street, Hintlesham, near Ipswich, had already admitted 20 offences against nine boys, including six counts of sexually assaulting three boys under 13, four of recording the abuse, six of voyeurism, three of making indecent photographs and one of attempting to cause or incite a child to engage in sexual activity.
Judge David Pugh said Brown, more recently of Elthorne Park, Clacton-on-sea, “acted as a predator” by deliberately grooming boys in order to abuse them for sexual gratification.
A 31-year-old man who took part in a knifepoint robbery at a Suffolk store during which two female assistants were told they would be stabbed if they didn’t do as they were told was jailed in September.
Sentencing Jordan Carr, who has a previous conviction for robbery, Judge David Goodin described him as dangerous and said he and his accomplice had terrified the two women.
Ipswich Crown Court heard that the two assistants had just unlocked doors at Tesco Express in Lawson Place Bury St Edmunds at around 5.15am on March 23 when they were confronted by two men with their faces covered and carrying kitchen knives.
One of the men grabbed one of the frightened women and took her to an office where the safe was kept.
Carr had stayed downstairs with the other woman and told her to remove money from the tills, prosecutors told the court.
The men stole £1,640 from a coin safe and £600 from tills and before making their getaway in a Suzuki belonging to one of the women they took their phones and made them get into a lift.
Carr, 31, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to robbery at Tesco Express and being carried in a car taken without consent.
He also asked for two offences of shoplifting from Sainsbury’s in Bedingfield Way, Bury St Edmunds, and having a knife to be considered.
In addition to jailing Carr for five years, Judge Goodin imposed an extended licence period of 12 months.
An Ipswich drug dealer who lived an "extravagant lifestyle" was jailed in October for five years.
When police searched the home of Kieran O'Sullivan, they found a large quantity of men’s and women’s designer goods, Ipswich Crown Court heard.
The items, which were found in a bedroom of a property in Stanley Avenue, Ipswich, where O’Sullivan was living with his girlfriend, included designer shoes, belts and luggage, the court was told.
“They indicated quite an extravagant lifestyle,” said Russell Butcher, prosecuting.
O’Sullivan, admitted possession of cocaine with intent to supply on May 8 this year, possession of a pepper spray and possession of criminal property namely £59,683 cash.
Jailing him for five years, Judge David Pugh said the case was serious as it involved 606g of cocaine worth between £20 and £30,000 and nearly £60,000 cash.
An armed robber who held an axe over the head of a Suffolk jeweller and forced him to hand over £25,000 of jewellery was jailed for eight years.
The owner was loading stock from his shop into the boot of his car in Quay Street, Sudbury at around 5.30pm when Stuart Bocock, who was wearing a balaclava, ordered him to hand over a bag containing jewellery.
The owner’s wife, who was standing nearby, looked up and saw Bocock holding an axe over her husband’s head.
The owner fell to the ground during the incident and while Bocock took the bag containing the jewellery another man put his hands round the neck of the owner’s wife to restrain her, Ipswich Crown Court heard.
During the robbery the victims’ mobile phones and a handbag were stolen, said Lori Tucker, prosecuting.
Following Bocock’s arrest police found text messages on his mobile phone relating to him trying to sell the stolen jewellery.
The court heard that the robbery on December 18 last year was part of a month long spree of offending by Bocock and another man during which £11,000 stock was stolen from Boots in Sudbury and cash was stolen during burglaries at the Nethergate Brewery in Long Melford and Hennessy’s Lifestyle Cafe.
Bocock, 30, of Thorntondale Road, Doncaster, admitted conspiracy to burgle and conspiracy to rob between December 11 last year and January 17 this year and threatening a man with an axe.
A father-of-four who left a head chef with a fractured skull after beating him with a cricket bat at a Suffolk hotel was jailed for nine years.
Paul Falco, 39, denied wounding Michael Johnson with intent at the Worlington Hotel, near Mildenhall, on April 17 this year, but on December 18, a jury returned a unanimous guilty verdict.
During the three-day trial, the jury at Ipswich Crown Court heard how Mr Johnson, who lived in an attic bedroom at the hotel, was found by a night-porter lying on his bed in "a pretty bad way".
The door to his bedroom had been forced open and there was blood on the walls, floor and mattress, the court heard.
Mr Johnson was taken to Addenbrooke's Hospital, where he was found to have a fractured skull, air and blood in his brain, fractures to his cheekbone and round his eyes, a fractured wrist and extensive bruising.
Sentencing Falco after the guilty verdict, Recorder William Joseph Hansen said: "It was a vicious attack. It is hard to imagine how terrifying this must have been for the victim."
He added: "The level of violence in this attack was truly shocking. It was sustained and brutal."
Recorder Hansen sentenced Falco, of Bridge End Road, Red Lodge, to nine years in prison, and he must serve two thirds of that sentence before he is released on licence.