Crossbow raider faces jail

A MAN is today facing the possibility of a spell in prison after admitting he robbed at an Ipswich bookmakers armed with a crossbow.

Naomi Cassidy

A MAN is today facing the possibility of a spell in prison after admitting he robbed at an Ipswich bookmakers armed with a crossbow.

Robert Gillett, 20, of Ashcroft Road, pleaded guilty to robbery and possession of a crossbow at Ipswich Crown Court yesterday following an incident at Ladbrokes in Ellenbrook Road, Chantry, on September 2.

The case was adjourned for a pre-sentence report to be done but Gillett was warned jail could be on the cards.

At the first hearing at South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court on September 10, it was heard that Gillett went into the shop at about 12.15pm and threatened staff with the one-metre long crossbow, saying he did not want to hurt them but wanted £2,000 in cash.

The terrified staff handed some cash over and he made off on foot with £1,085.

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It was then heard that he took a train to Braintree and got rid of the weapon there.

Detectives and forensic experts were immediately dispatched to the scene of the crime, cordoning off the shop, interviewing witnesses and scouring the area for clues.

The staff members and a customer in the shop at the time were said to be shaken following the raid.

Gillett later told police that he had just split up from his girlfriend and said it wasn't like him to do something like that.

The shop is next door to McColl's newsagent, which was hit in an armed raid only eight days earlier, when a teen made off with just £30 after brandishing a handgun at the cashier.

In adjourning the case, Judge Peter Thompson told Gillett: “You know it is a serious matter. There is a strong possibility of imprisonment.”

Gillett is expected to be sentenced on October 16.