Ipswich: Armed robber who held security guard at gunpoint outside Ipswich bank is jailed for eight years

IPSWICH: A robber who held up a security guard at gunpoint outside an Ipswich bank as police looked on is today beginning an eight-and-half-year jail term.

Metropolitan Police surveillance officers had been monitoring the Lloyds TSB branch in Nacton Road but were caught by surprise when Ian Joseph struck, making off with a �15,000 haul.

It was understood the officers had not expected the robbery to take place on the day.

They gave chase and the pursuit led to an armed siege, but Joseph, who had dumped the cash, eluded capture.

However, the long arm of the law did eventually catch up with him and last October the 38-year-old was convicted of conspiracy to commit robbery in relation to the raid on September 7, 2007.

It was the third robbery at the branch within the space of 18 months.

Yesterday Joseph, of Northolt, Middlesex, was sentenced at Kingston-upon-Thames Crown Court by His Honour Judge Edward Southwell.

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The gun-toting robber was only linked to one raid but was part of a gang which committed 18 armed raids during a 17-month crime spree.

The raids finally ended six days after last of the Ipswich robberies when two gang members - Mark Nunes, 35, and Andrew Markland, 36 - were fatally wounded by Metropolitan Police marksman as they carried out a robbery at Chandlers Ford in Hampshire.

The men, both from south London, were shot as police laid in wait for them.

It has been revealed that Met Police officers had been keeping the Nacton Road branch of Lloyds TSB under surveillance in an intelligence-gathering operation when Joseph struck, thrusting a gun in the face of a security van guard before fleeing with his haul.

At one stage police laid siege to a house in nearby Nansen Road and firearms officers gathered outside the property.

However, Joseph is believed to have escaped on foot. The cash box and money he stole were found nearby in a getaway car.

At an earlier hearing the court was told the particulars of the offence Joseph was found guilty of were that between April 26, 2006 and September 14, 2007 he conspired together with Mark Nunes, Andrew Markland, and eight other men to rob.

The earlier raids at the Nacton Road Lloyds TSB took place on November 18, 2005 and February 10, 2006.

Among the other banks hit by the gang was a Lloyds TSB in Cherry Hinton, near Newmarket, which was targeted twice, and another raid took place in Colchester.

Other armed raids occurred in London, Bristol, Gloucester, Oxford, Bath, Winchester, Swindon and Reading.

The total haul from all of the raids was said to be �500,000.

n Did you witness the raids or the police siege? Write to Your Letters, The Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or you can send an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk