Ipswich: Man who threatened staff at Co-op walks free from court

A WOULD-be-robber who was identified after the Ipswich Star published a CCTV image of him has walked free from court after a judge gave him a suspended prison sentence.

David Blue was drunk when he walked into a Co-op store in Foxhall Road, Ipswich, just before closing time on August 29 last year and ordered cashier Angel Southgate to open the till, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Blue told Miss Southgate “I’ve got a gun. Just open the till” but she refused.

The 40-year-old’s hand was in his pocket in a way which suggested he had some sort of weapon, said Patricia Doggett, prosecuting.

A second man had then approached Blue and ushered him away from the counter saying: “Come on.”

Miss Southgate realised Blue was drunk and initially thought he was joking when he told her to open the till, said Miss Doggett.

After his arrest Blue told police he couldn’t recall what he had been doing on the day of the offence but thought he had probably been drunk.

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He also said he was sorry and was disgusted with himself.

Blue, of Fore Street, Ipswich, admitted attempted robbery and was given an eight month prison sentence suspended for two years.

He was also ordered to attend an alcohol specified activity programme and to be under the supervision of the probation service for 12 months.

Sentencing him, Judge Peter Thompson said the offence crossed the custody threshold but he felt able to suspend the sentence because of the efforts he had made to turn his life around, including his efforts to stop drinking.

Steven Dyble, for Blue, said since the incident his client had stopped drinking and found a flat.

After the case a Suffolk Constabulary spokesman said: “We are grateful and thank the Ipswich Star for publishing the CCTV image of David Blue.

“This led to a member of the public coming forward and positively identifying him.”

He also thanked the person who spotted Blue.