Man jailed for five years for robbery, burglary and knife offences | Suffolk Constabulary

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Man jailed for five years for robbery, burglary and knife offences

A 29-year-old man has been jailed for five years after committing a number of offences in Ipswich.

Luke Smart

Luke Smart, of Oxford Road, Ipswich, appeared at Ipswich Crown Court today, Tuesday 9 July, where he was sentenced after pleading guilty at an earlier hearing to the following offences:

- Robbery, attempted robbery, two counts of possession of a knife, handling stolen goods and fraud by false representation.

Smart was charged on Friday 3 May in connection with the following three incidents.

The first incident occurred at some point between 12.55pm and 1.40pm on Sunday 17 February.

An offender, who was holding a knife, entered Springs in Spring Road, Ipswich, and demanded cigarettes from the shopkeeper. The shopkeeper refused and then chased the offender out of the store.

A second incident occurred at some point between noon and 6pm at Aurora in Helena Road, Ipswich the same day.

An offender entered a tent and stole three wallets containing cash, bank cards and other miscellaneous items. The bank cards were later used to purchase goods.

A third incident occurred just after 9.30pm on Monday 25 February, at Patel Newsagents in Fore Street, Ipswich.

An offender entered the shop and approached the counter demanding money from the till. The shopkeeper initially thought the suspect was joking, but he then brandished a blue-handled kitchen knife and went behind the counter, pulled the till out and ran out of the building with it.

Between his arrest and sentencing, Smart chose to work with Suffolk Police’s Operation Converter Team and went on to admit four other offences including two dwelling burglaries, a robbery and a theft from the person.

Two incidents occurred between 22 February and 25 February, when a rucksack was stolen from a passing person outside of the University of Suffolk in Corprolite Street and a handbag was also stolen from a female at a bus stop in Cavendish Street, Ipswich.

Two burglaries were also carried out at the same address in Grove Lane, Ipswich between 3 March and 19 March. A TV and a set of keys were stolen for a Ford Fiesta from within. The vehicle was then stolen from a street nearby.

During the second incident, mobile phones, electronic items and jewellery were stolen from inside of the same property.

Commenting on the sentencing, Detective Constable Barry Simpson from the Operation Converter TIC Unit, said: "Smart was visited while on remand in prison after he was charged with six offences. The TIC (Taken Into Consideration) process was explained and Smart chose to engage with the process in order to show that he was remorseful and to attempt to recover some of the property that he stole. Smart assisted in the recovery of the stolen TV and this was returned to the owners.

“Smart was also keen to take part in restorative justice, which will enable him to write a letter of apology to everyone that has been affected by his offending. Smart was open and honest about his short crime spree that he stated was out of control due to a drug addiction and its associated debts.

“The TIC offences were voluntary admissions to crimes for which there was little or no evidence implicating him so it is nice to be able to update each of these victims with a positive outcome.”

Operation Converter is an initiative aimed at encouraging offenders to admit their crimes. This has benefits for all – police are able to give victims some peace of mind that an offender has been caught for the burglary of their home or the theft of their property and the individual has the opportunity to clear their slate so they can have a fresh start when they are released from prison, without the possibility they will later be traced for a further offence. Offenders have to give sufficient detail for officers to be sure they have committed the crime and these offences are then ‘taken into consideration’ at sentencing.

Previous release | 7 June 2019

A 29-year-old man from Ipswich has been convicted of robbery, knife and fraud offences.

Luke Smart, of Oxford Road, appeared at Ipswich Crown Court on Tuesday 4 June, where he pleaded guilty to the following offences:

-     Robbery, attempted robbery, two counts of possession of a knife, handling stolen goods and fraud by false representation.

Smart was charged on Friday 3 March in connection with the following three incidents.

The first incident occurred at some point between 12.55pm and 1.40pm on Sunday 17 February.

An offender, who was holding a knife, entered Springs in Spring Road, Ipswich, and demanded cigarettes from the shopkeeper. The shopkeeper refused and then chased the offender out of the store.

A second incident occurred at some point between noon and 6pm at Aurora in Helena Road, Ipswich the same day.

An offender entered a tent and stole three wallets containing cash, bank cards and other miscellaneous items. The bank cards were later used to purchase goods.

A third incident occurred just after 9.30pm on Monday 25 February, at Patel Newsagents in Fore Street, Ipswich.

An offender entered the shop and approached the counter demanding money from the till. The shopkeeper initially thought the suspect was joking, but he then brandished a blue-handled kitchen knife and went behind the counter, pulled the till out and ran out of the building with it.

Smart was remanded in custody and is next due to appear for sentencing at Ipswich Crown Court on Tuesday 9 July.

Previous release | 8 May 2019

Police have charged a 29-year-old man in connection with three incidents.

The first incident occurred at some point between 12.55pm and 1.40pm on Sunday 17 February.

An offender, who was holding a knife, entered Springs in Spring Road, Ipswich, and demanded cigarettes from the shopkeeper. The shopkeeper refused and then chased the offender out of the store.

A second incident occurred at some point between noon and 6pm at Aurora in Helena Road, Ipswich, the same day.

An offender entered a tent and stole three wallets containing cash, bank cards and other miscellaneous items. The bank cards were later used to purchase goods.

A third incident occurred just after 9.30pm on Monday 25 February, at Patel Newsagents in Fore Street, Ipswich.

An offender entered the shop and approached the counter demanding money from the till. The shopkeeper initially thought the suspect was joking, but he then brandished a blue-handled kitchen knife and went behind the counter, pulled the till out and ran out of the building with it.

Police carried out enquiries and subsequently arrested a man on suspicion of various offences and he was taken to Martlesham Police Investigation Centre for questioning.

Luke Smart, 29, of Oxford Road, Ipswich, was charged with robbery, attempted robbery, two counts of possession of a knife, handling stolen goods and fraud by false representation.

Smart appeared before Ipswich Magistrates’ Court on Saturday 4 May and is next due to appear at Ipswich Crown Court on Tuesday 4 June.