Robber caged for Tesco terror raid

FROM a terrifying armed raid to an eight-year jail term - justice finally caught up with supermarket robber Patrick Mumford today.

Josh Warwick

FROM a terrifying armed raid to an eight-year jail term - justice finally caught up with supermarket robber Patrick Mumford today.

The 43-year-old is behind bars after he admitted playing a key role in a professionally orchestrated and violent heist at Tesco in Cedars Link, Stowmarket.

Mumford and his balaclava-clad gang made off with a cool £20,000 in the lucrative July 2007 robbery after a security guard, who had bravely tried to hold on to a cash bag, was shot with a stun gun.

Heavily convicted Mumford arranged for a stolen scooter to be delivered to an area near Tesco and acted as the back-up getaway driver.

But he was snared by police after an eagle-eyed store manager spotted him on a footpath used by the fleeing robbers and made a note of his vehicle registration number.

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Within hours, detectives had swooped on his Essex home and made an arrest.

Sentencing Mumford at Ipswich Crown Court, Judge Roderick Newton described the raid as a “professionally planned commercial robbery”.

He said that those responsible had cut through a fence and forged a tunnel through undergrowth, which provided them with an access point close to the area where cash was delivered.

Mumford, of Dagenham, admitted robbery when he appeared in court in June, but yesterday applied to be allowed to change his plea to not guilty.

His desperate appeal fell on deaf ears, however, with Judge Newton rejecting his application.

Matthew Gowan, prosecuting, said that shortly after 1pm on July 9, two security guards were collecting cash from Tesco and had parked their van at the side of the store near a cash office.

While his colleague stayed at the van, security guard Alan Britton went backwards and forwards to the cash office. On his fourth journey he was attacked by two men, wearing balaclavas and camouflage clothing, who sprang from nearby bushes.

Mr Gowan said “considerable planning” had gone into the robbery.

Mr Britton was initially struck in the face but managed to hold on to the cash bag he was carrying while he tried to get back to his van.

One of the robbers then produced a stun gun which was discharged, causing Mr Britton's legs to buckle and resulted in him losing his grip on the bag which contained £20,000.

As the robbers made off from the scene on a stolen scooter, they were chased by a store manager and a member of staff.

Mumford, who has a young family, was seen by the store manager walking back to his Ford Transit van.

The robbers had abandoned the stolen scooter and made off from the scene in another van.

Mark Dacey, for Mumford, said his client had admitted being involved in the robbery on the basis that he was the back-up getaway driver and had not known that a weapon was used in the raid.