Thief denies armed robbery in court

A CONVICTED thief denied being involved in an armed robbery at a Suffolk store.Paul Cunnington, 30, told a jury at Ipswich Crown Court that although he had previous convictions for dishonesty, he had not been involved in a robbery at Alldays in Walton High Street, in May.

A CONVICTED thief denied being involved in an armed robbery at a Suffolk store.

Paul Cunnington, 30, told a jury at Ipswich Crown Court that although he had previous convictions for dishonesty, he had not been involved in a robbery at Alldays in Walton High Street, in May.

On that occasion 30-year-old Ian Brooks had threatened door manager Lesley Moore with a sawn off shotgun and ordered her to hand over money in the shop tills.

Mrs Moore was then told to open the safe but managed to lock herself and a colleague in an office and activate the panic alarm.

Brooks had run off and was driven away in a BMW in which Cunnington and 30-year-old Gavin Friston had allegedly been waiting.

Police chased the car along the A14 and during the journey the sawn off shotgun was thrown out of the window.

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Cunnington who was driving the car lost control in Woodbridge Road, Ipswich, and the car crashed into a shop window.

Brooks, of Henniker Road, Ipswich, has admitted robbery but Cunnington of The Walk, Felixstowe, and Friston, of The Wheelwrights, Trimley St Mary, have denied being involved.

They have also denied assisting Brooks after the robbery.

The court has heard that Cunnington has pleaded guilty to dangerous driving.

Giving evidence yesterday, Cunnington denied being involved in the robbery in any way.

He said he had been at home with Friston on the morning of the robbery when Brooks had knocked at his door and asked for a lift into Ipswich in return for drugs.

Cunnington, who has a £140 a week heroin habit, said that on the way into Ipswich he became aware of police cars following them and Brooks had ordered him to carry on driving.

The sawn off shotgun had been thrown out of the window but Cunnington had carried on driving because he was frightened of Brooks.

Giving evidence Friston admitted he had previous convictions for dishonesty, burglary and drug and driving offences but denied being involved in the robbery at Alldays.

The trial continues.

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