Ipswich: Is this Suffolk’s daftest robber?

A BUNGLING robber who snatched a woman’s handbag is today beginning a four-year jail term – after he dropped his mobile phone as he struggled with his victim.

Simon Fox was on licence from prison after being released from a 27-month sentence for another offence of robbery when he approached receptionist Kirsty Barbouti as she was walking with a friend in the Waterfront area of Ipswich at night.

But Ipswich Crown Court heard how the 26-year-old left a gift for detectives when he accidentally left his phone at the scene of the attack.

As Fox tried to snatch the handbag, Ms Barbouti struggled to keep hold of it but it fell to the ground, said Robert Sadd.

As she tried to pick it up Fox pushed her – and as he did so he dropped his mobile phone.

Fox picked up the handbag and a packet of cigarettes and made off down a passageway – leaving a key piece of evidence at the scene of the robbery, said Mr Sadd.

He said the total value of the handbag and its contents, which included her mobile phone, was �500. The mobile phone was later found by police at the home of Fox’s girlfriend, said Mr Sadd.

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He said Ms Babouti had been distressed by the robbery and had been left feeling vulnerable when she went out.

Fox, of London Road, Ipswich, admitted robbery on March 23 and was jailed for four years.

Sentencing him, Recorder Richard Atchley said he had targeted the woman because she was vulnerable.

He said the incident was strikingly similar to a robbery for which he had been jailed for 27 months in Feburary last year.

On that occasion Fox and another man had approached a student in Cutler Street, Ipswich and demanded his wallet and phone. The 16-year-old victim had been hit in the face by the other man.

Ian Persaud, for Fox, said his client hadn’t threatened or assaulted the student in the earlier robbery.

He said the robbery of Ms Barbouti hadn’t been planned and was opportunistic.

Mr Persaud said Fox had a difficult upbringing and had attempted suicide while in prison.