Ipswich: Jail for thug who tried to rob store

An armed raider who tried to rob a frightened shop assistant and then threatened to stab a security guard at another store several hours later has been locked up for four years.

Aiden Flanigan, 30, had his hood up and was holding a knife when he entered the One Stop shop in Cambridge Drive at 9.45pm on May 22, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Flanigan, of Whitton Church Lane, Ipswich, approached a shop assistant, who could see he was holding a knife, and told her, “Look I’ve got a knife. Give me the money.”

He then said: “I’ve got a knife. Don’t shout or call anyone. Just give me the money.”

The assistant pushed an emergency button on her wrist and said she couldn’t give him the money. She then went behind the counter and locked a door behind her before pressing an intercom which connected with an office where a shift manager was working, said Mr Sadd.

He said Flanigan had looked at the assistant and shook his head at her before leaving the store empty-handed.

Four hours later security guard Darin Lummas was on duty at the Co-op store at Belstead Hills when Flanigan, who had been drinking, tried to enter the premises.

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Mr Sadd said the shop was closed apart from a single door which had been left open for the use of staff and suppliers and Mr Lummas had explained that to Flanigan, who said he wanted to get some change.

Flanigan had become aggressive at being told the shop was closed and told Mr Lummas: “I just want my change. If not I’ll stab you.”

Mr Sadd said that during the incident Mr Lummas saw the handle of a knife sticking out of Flanigan’s sleeve.

Flanigan admitted attempted robbery, using threatening behaviour and asked for four offences of theft and criminal damage to be considered.

Jailing him for four years, less 84 days he has spent in custody, Judge Rupert Overbury said Flanigan had got up very close to the assistant at the One Stop shop and had only left when customers had come in.

He said he didn’t believe Flanigan’s claim that he had committed the attempted robbery after being threatened by drug dealers he owed money to.

Craig Marchant for Flanigan said his client said he had only been in the One Stop store for a matter seconds and had written a letter to the shop assistant and Mr Lummas apologising for what he had done.