Robber was illegal immigrant

A ROBBER who threatened a store manager with a sawn off shotgun was an illegal immigrant at the time of the raid, a court heard.Ian Brooks had arrived in the UK from Jamaica in November last year and was given permission to stay for six months.

A ROBBER who threatened a shop manager with a sawn-off shotgun was an illegal immigrant at the time, a court heard.

Ian Brooks arrived in the UK from Jamaica in November last year and was given permission to stay for six months.

Today Brooks told a jury at Ipswich Crown Court that he had not applied for an extension to his stay and should have returned to Jamaica on May 15.

However, on that day he was in Ipswich – and hours later he walked into the Alldays store in Walton High Street and threatened manager Lesley Moore with a sawn-off shotgun.

Brooks, 30, who was living in Henniker Road, Ipswich, has admitted robbery at Alldays shortly after the store opened on May 16. He was giving evidence on the second day of the trial of two men accused of being his accomplices in the raid.

Paul Cunnington, 30, of The Walk, Felixstowe and Gavin Friston, 30, of The Wheelwrights, Trimley St Mary, have both denied robbery. They have also denied an alternative charge of assisting Brooks after he had committed the robbery.

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The court heard that Cunnington has admitted an offence of dangerous driving.

It was alleged that Friston and Cunnington waited in a BMW in a nearby street while Brooks committed the robbery.

During the raid Brooks pointed the sawn-off shotgun at Mrs Moore and ordered her to hand over the contents of two tills, which amounted to £45.

Brooks also ordered Mrs Moore to open the safe, but she managed to lock herself and another member of staff in an office and activate the panic alarm.

Afterwards the BMW driven by Cunnington was chased by police along the A14 and A12 at speeds of up to 100 miles per hour before the vehicle ploughed into a shop window in Woodbridge Road, Ipswich.

Brooks, Cunnington and Friston were arrested the same day.

The case continues.

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