Man jailed for robbing Ipswich convenience store to feed drug habit

Derrmot Ryan was jailed for three years and seven months at Ipswich Crown Court Picture: SUFFOLK CO

Derrmot Ryan was jailed for three years and seven months at Ipswich Crown Court Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY - Credit: Suffolk Constabulary

A drug addict who intimidated a lone shop assistant into turning over the contents of a convenience store till has been jailed for three years and seven months.

Dermot Ryan left the female shop assistant badly shaken by the robbery at the New Little Hut convenience store, in Eagle Street, Ipswich, last summer.

Ipswich Crown Court heard how the 27-year-old entered the shop once on the afternoon of August 7 and returned at about 5.10pm to carry out the robbery.

Russell Butcher, prosecuting, said Ryan’s demeanour had initially seemed normal to the shop assistant, who he then suddenly intimidated into opening the till.

As Ryan stepped behind the counter and reached inside the cash register, the shop assistant grabbed his hand in an effort to prevent the theft.

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He warned the woman to release her grip before grabbing a handful of cash and running from the shop.

Ryan, of no fixed address, was arrested in Norwich city centre for other matters on December 12 and formally charged with the robbery before magistrates two days later.

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He made no comment during a police interview and initially denied a charge of robbing the store while carrying a knife, but later pleaded guilty the offence on the basis he was unarmed and made no threats of possessing a weapon.

The court heard he had 14 convictions for 34 previous offences.

He was jailed for 39 months in February 2015 for two counts of robbery after using the threat of a knife to force the withdrawal of money from cash machines.

Andrew Thompson, mitigating, said it was apparent from Ryan’s more recent pattern of acquisitive crime that he was reliant, and subsequently dependant on class A drugs, but that his almost six months in custody had been spent getting clean and learning kitchen skills in order to find employment upon his eventual release.

Judge Martyn Levett said there was some level of planning to the robbery and that Ryan had targeted a lone, vulnerable, female shop assistant, who had been working at the convenience store for a limited number of days and was left very shaken by the experience.

“You are by no means a first time offender,” he told Ryan before jailing him for 43 months.

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