Ipswich man jailed for knifepoint robbery of Premier Express in Garrick Way

Police at the scene of the armed robbery at Premier in Garrick Way, Ipswich and (inset) Nicholas Bal

Police at the scene of the armed robbery at Premier in Garrick Way, Ipswich and (inset) Nicholas Balderstone - Credit: Archant and Suffolk Constabulary

A man has been jailed for robbing a convenience store in Ipswich at knifepoint and making off with more than £700 in cash.

Nicholas Balderstone, 25, of Kingsley Close, Ipswich, was sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court today to 44 months in prison for the raid on Premier Express in Garrick Way on Monday October 31.

Prosecuting, Michael Crimp said the shop owner’s brother was stacking shelves alone in the store at around 7pm on the evening of the robbery.

“As he is doing so the bell on the front door sounded, indicating somebody was coming into the store,” said Mr Crimp. “Within seconds he was attacked from behind.

“The defendant grabbed him by the throat and he felt the sharp point of an implement on his neck, which he believed rightly to be a knife.

“The assailant demanded he went to the till and wanted money.”

After the shocked shop assistant gave Balderstone a quantity of cash, he grabbed at the till a second time, getting another handful of notes.

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During the robbery a six inch, rusty, double-bladed knife was pushed into the shop assistant’s back causing him to suffer a small puncture wound.

At one point the victim grabbed the blade of the knife but was uninjured as it was blunt.

Balderstone made away with between £700 and £800 in cash.

Mr Crimp said the victim gave a detailed description of Balderstone and had recognised him as someone who had visited the shop five or six times recently to buy cider.

CCTV was also used to identify him.

Balderstone was picked up and arrested on November 11 after being recognised by a police officer on the beat.

In mitigation, Paul Donegan said Balderstone had a ‘chaotic’ lifestyle and was a drug and alcohol abuser. “At that time of the commission of this offence he was not misusing drugs but had replaced heroin with alcohol.

“Although he was not under the influence at the time, the events were inspired to gain money to buy alcohol.”

Jailing him for 44 months for robbery with an additional six months to run concurrently for threatening another with a blade or point, Judge John Devaux also took into consideration a further 11 offences.