Man cleared of taking part in £10,000 armed raid on One Stop Shop in Claydon

Police investigate the scene of an armed robbery which happened at 6am on Sunday November 22nd, at t

Police investigate the scene of an armed robbery which happened at 6am on Sunday November 22nd, at the One Stop Stop in Claydon. - Credit: Sarah Lucy brown

A man has been cleared of being involved in a £10,000 raid at a Suffolk store during which the manager and a sales assistant were tied up.

Michael Afolyan, 26, of Southwark, had denied being involved in the robbery at the One Stop shop in Ipswich Road, Claydon on Sunday, November 22.

Yesterday at the end of the prosecution case he pleaded guilty to handling postal orders stolen during the robbery and the jury was directed to return a not guilty verdict on the robbery charge.

Afolayan, who has been in custody since November, was jailed for 12 months.

During his three day trial at Ipswich Crown Court it was alleged that sales assistant Cheryl Bowen and store manager Robert Addison had arrived at the One Stop shop at around 5.30am on the day in question and were preparing to open the shop up when three men burst in through a rear door and demanded money.

Mr Addison and Miss Bowen allegedly had their hands tied with cable ties and during the raid the intruders allegedly disabled the CCTV and left with £10,000 cash and postal orders.

The police were alerted after Miss Bowen managed to get some scissors and freed herself and Mr Addison.

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Afolayan was arrested three days after the alleged robbery in a Ford Mondeo.

Ten blank postal orders, which were identified as being taken during the robbery were found in the driver’s door pocket of the car.

Steven Dyble, for Afolayan, said the evidence to suggest his client was part of a gang that robbed the store had been “extremely limited.”

He said Afolyan had lent his car to a man he knew and had no idea it was being used for “a nefarious purpose”.

He said the blank postal orders, which were effectively worthless, had been left in the car when it was returned to him.

Mr Dyble said his client came from a hard working and honest family.