Two men are due in court to face armed robbery charges

IPSWICH: Two men are due to appear in court next month in connection with an armed robbery at an Ipswich shop which ended with a member of staff being shot in the face.

Darren Hilling, 21, of Wellington Street, Ipswich, and Ricky Mutton, 23, of Montgomery Road, Ipswich, will face charges of conspiring to commit robbery at P&G Stores in Orford Street on March 13.

Hilling will also face a separate offence of possessing cannabis resin in Bury St Edmunds on March 16.

The pair have been summonsed to South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court to be charged.

Hilling and Mutton were due before the court on Friday. However, they did not appear and case was adjourned until September 6.

Both men will remain in custody until their next hearing.

The court case follows a police investigation into an incident which saw Lekam Jayathilaka end up in hospital after sustaining facial injuries while working at P&G Stores, which is just off Norwich Road.

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He was injured after three masked men brandishing a BB gun and knife came into the shop on a Saturday evening demanding cash.

Mr Jayathilaka tried to bluff the robbers by telling them the till was empty.

However, the offenders were said to have cut the two wires connecting the till to the counter and pulled the whole till free.

They then left the premises.

It was reported that Mr Jayathilaka ran to confront two of the robbers as the other carried the till out. As he did so he was attacked and shot in the face.

The incident occurred at 9.45pm just as Mr Jayathilaka was due to begin closing up for the day.

Mr Jayathilaka was taken to Ipswich Hospital where he had surgery to remove a pellet lodged under his skin.

In total around �800 was said to have been taken, along with the till worth around �600.