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Jailed this week - a prolific burglar and man who robbed a mum and child at knifepoint

PUBLISHED: 07:14 30 August 2020 | UPDATED: 07:14 30 August 2020

James Regan and Neil Diaz were both jailed in Suffolk this week  Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY/ESSEX POLICE

James Regan and Neil Diaz were both jailed in Suffolk this week Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY/ESSEX POLICE

Suffolk Constabulary/Essex Police

A prolific burglary, a sex offender, and an ‘unpredictable attention seeker’ who held a mother and child at knifepoint were among those jailed in Suffolk this week.

James Regan was jailed for more than two years for burglary at Ipswich Crown Court  Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARYJames Regan was jailed for more than two years for burglary at Ipswich Crown Court Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY

James Regan was caught red-handed after being watched looting a home by the owner of the property in Felixstowe.

The 36-year-old was watched as he burgled a rental property in Crescent Road, Felixstowe, during the early evening of July 26.

Regan was jailed for more than two years at Ipswich Crown Court after being convicted of his ninth burglary.

Karl Voltz, prosecuting, said the owner of the rental property was watching from their neighbouring residence as Regan went from room to room, switching on lights and stuffing a TV, drill and food into a bag on the kitchen table.

Neil Diaz, of Colchester, was jailed for holding a woman and her baby at knifepoint in the car park of an Asda supermarket  Picture: ESSEX POLICENeil Diaz, of Colchester, was jailed for holding a woman and her baby at knifepoint in the car park of an Asda supermarket Picture: ESSEX POLICE

Under the ‘three-strike’ rule for burglary, Regan, of Shrub End Road, was liable to be sentenced for a minimum of three years, reduced to 876 days – just short of two years and five months – as a result of an early guilty plea.

MORE: Homeowner watched burglar from neighbouring property

Thomas Lewis had denied sexually assaulting a woman after they “crashed out” on a sofa – but was found guilty after a four-day trial at Ipswich Crown Court in January.

On Tuesday, he returned to Ipswich Crown Court to receive a 30-month jail sentence.

In addition to being jailed, Lewis, 28, of School Avenue, Elmswell, was ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register for 10 years.

During Lewis’s trial, the court heard that the woman woke up on a sofa following a night out in Stowmarket to find Lewis touching her.

She told police she had “frozen” when she felt Lewis touching her.

The assault ended when Lewis received a call on his mobile phone from his girlfriend, who had been asleep upstairs

MORE: Man sexually assaulted woman sleeping on sofa

Neil Diaz was jailed for four years at Ipswich Crown Court for threatening a mother and her young son with a knife in a supermarket car park.

During the incident, outside Asda in Turner Rise, Colchester, Diaz approached the woman, a complete stranger, as she put her one-year-old son in his car seat, and told her to get into the passenger seat of her car.

She saw he was holding a seven inch knife with a serrated blade an inch away from her stomach, and she immediately shut and locked the car door and screamed for help.

Diaz had “calmly“ walked away before catching a train to Chelmsford then to Marks Tey railway station where he was arrested.

He was captured on CCTV walking round Asda for 90 minutes looking for a potential victim.

Judge Martyn Levett described Diaz as an “attention seeker” and “unpredictable”, and although he had claimed he would not have harmed the woman or her son, there was no knowing what would have happened if there had been a wrong move by her or a loss of control by him.

Diaz, 58, of Roosevelt Way, Colchester, admitted attempted false imprisonment of the woman and her son, threatening the woman with a knife and possession of another knife.

MORE: Man jailed for holding mother and child at knifepoint in supermarket car park


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