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School loses out after pub raid

PUBLISHED: 05:00 20 June 2002 | UPDATED: 12:07 03 March 2010

KNIFE-WIELDING robbers who stole more than £17,000 when they held up the Belstead Arms have left another trail of devastation.

While landlord Kevin Watkins and Val Cocks - both tied up at knifepoint - struggle to get their lives back on track, pupils at an Ipswich school have also hit a cruel blow.

By GEORGINA WROE

georgina.wroe@eveningstar.co.uk

KNIFE-WIELDING robbers who stole more than £17,000 when they held up the Belstead Arms have left another trail of devastation.

While landlord Kevin Watkins and Val Cocks – both tied up at knifepoint – struggle to get their lives back on track, pupils at an Ipswich school also experienced a cruel blow.

Part of the masked robbers' haul was £750 raised over the Jubilee weekend to make a fitness trail for children with motor development difficulties at Beacon Hill.

Headteacher David Stewart, said: "When robbers start to pick on places because they are raising money for charity it is very worrying. I just hope the money raising didn't make the pub a target."

Since the raid in the early hours of June 4, publican Kevin Watkins has phoned Beacon Hill school to explain why the money raised was not forthcoming.

Mr Stewart said: "I felt terrible that at this time he should be worrying about us. I wrote to him to say that if we get the money that would be great, but he shouldn't worry.

"We are all concerned that Kevin should recover from this terrible attack. I even offered to bring the children round to talk to him to show that no one felt bad about it."

The school is hoping to raise £10,000 for a special fitness trail including wobble boards that aims to improve children's co-ordination.

Through sponsored walks and other charity drives championed by the Evening Star, the 1468-strong school in Stone Lodge Road is a third of its way towards its target.

Mr Stewart said: "For us just knowing we have the support of the local community is wonderful."

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