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'I'm still in shock' says mum after knife-man who threatened to kill her and her daughter is jailed

PUBLISHED: 14:21 20 June 2019 | UPDATED: 15:16 20 June 2019

The East of England Co-op on Woodbridge Road, Ipswich Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

The East of England Co-op on Woodbridge Road, Ipswich Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

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A 24-year-old man has been jailed for five years after he admitted a knife-point robbery at the Co-op store in Woodbridge Road - and revealed he was also guilty of six street muggings.

Martyn Bell was jailed for five years  after he admitted a knife-point robbery at the Co-op store in Woodbridge Road. Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARYMartyn Bell was jailed for five years after he admitted a knife-point robbery at the Co-op store in Woodbridge Road. Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY

Martyn Bell threatened to kill a mother and daughter who were working at the branch of the Co-op on April 25.

Before appearing at Ipswich Crown Court on Thursday, he asked for six street robberies and eight other offences to be taken into account by Judge David Pugh, who called him a "young man with an appalling record" before sending him to prison for four years and eight months.

Bell admitted robbery, knife possession and theft at the Co-op, and a further theft of DVDs from HMV on April 14, on his first appearance in magistrates' court.

Prosecutor Peter Gair said Bell had since "sought to wipe the slate clean" by confessing to another 14 crimes dating from November 2015 to April 26 this year, including six street robberies, one non-domestic burglary, cannabis possession, three thefts from vehicles, vehicle interference and two bicycle thefts.

Martyn Bell was sentenced to five years in jail at Suffolk Crown Court. Picture: GOOGLE MAPS AND SUFFOLK CONSTABULARYMartyn Bell was sentenced to five years in jail at Suffolk Crown Court. Picture: GOOGLE MAPS AND SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY

Mr Gair said Bell walked into the Co-op at about 6.50pm, picked up some sausage rolls and cans of lager, and left without paying.

Just before 11pm, after police had visited to view CCTV of the earlier incident, he re-entered the store, produced a knife and demanded money from the till.

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One of the shop assistants thought she or her daughter would be stabbed by Bell when he pulled out the knife.

In a statement given a month later, she said: "I'm still in shock as to what happened."

Natasha Nair, mitigating, said Bell was addicted to crack cocaine and heroin at the time of the offence, which happened following his latest release from a short jail term with no money.

"It appears to be an ongoing cycle," she added.

"He was desperate. He was under the influence of drugs and indicated no forethought.

"He seems to have been genuinely remorseful and cooperative with police."

Bell's 25 previous convictions for 51 offences included drug dealing, violence, and robbery as a teenager in 2012.

Following his latest arrest, he was recalled to prison for breaching the terms of his licence until September 2020, and has since been prescribed methadone to deal with his drug misuse.

Bell was jailed for four years and eight months.

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