Ipswich: Cleaver-wielding robber jailed after mugging mum in front of children

Christchurch Park robber Joshua Potkins

Christchurch Park robber Joshua Potkins - Credit: Contributed

A cleaver-wielding robber has been jailed for 40 months after the “cowardly” daylight mugging of a mother in front of her toddlers.

The meat cleaver used by Joshua Potkins

The meat cleaver used by Joshua Potkins - Credit: Contributed

The 38-year-old victim had been walking with her two children, aged one and three, towards the tennis courts in Ipswich’s Christchurch Park at around 11am on May 25 when Joshua Potkins struck.

After the 21-year-old’s Ipswich Crown Court sentencing Detective Inspector Eamonn Bridger from Ipswich CID said: “This was a particularly distressing attack on the victim in front of her two young children. She has been incredibly strong throughout and was able to give us a detailed description of Potkins, which enabled us to capture nearby images of him visiting Christchurch Mansion just before the attack took place.

“The CCTV images together with an e fit image which turned out to be a very strong likeness to Potkins were circulated via the media the following day.

“These images, together with a detailed description and statement given to us by the victim led us to the quick arrest of Potkins a few days later.

“To attack a female in broad daylight whilst walking with a toddler and pushing a push chair through a tranquil park and then threaten her with a meat cleaver is an appalling, cowardly crime. I hope that today’s sentencing will go some way to provide justice for the victim and her children.”

The victim was near to the bowling green after she and her children had fed the ducks when Potkins walked up to her and told her to hand over her purse.

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He was holding a knife in his hand. She said no and started screaming but the man ran towards her and attacked her, head butting her first and then as she ran off he hit her three – four times on her back.

The woman handed over her purse containing £25 and the man ran off.

Police were called and immediately started a search of the area using the police helicopter while closing the park and a witness appeal was also quickly issued through the local media.

The following day an e fit likeness and CCTV image were issued of the man police were looking for.

Joshua Potkins, of Cromwell Square, Ipswich, was arrested on May 28 on suspicion of robbery.

He was released on bail and later charged with robbery and possession of an offensive weapon.

Potkins pleaded guilty to the charges last month.