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Mildenhall man jailed for three knifepoint robberies

Ipswich Crown Court
Ipswich Crown Court

A Mildenhall man who committed three knifepoint robberies less than six week after being let out of jail is back behind bars.

Daniel Mitson, 22, of St John’s Close, threatened shop staff and escaped with cash and whisky during the raids.

Today (May 20) at Ipswich Crown Court, Mitson, who had pleaded guilty to three robberies, was jailed for a total of four years and nine months.

The court heard that the first of the robberies took place at Ashley Village Stores in Ashley, Cambridgeshire, just 38 days after Mitson had been released from prison.

He had served a sentence for possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear and possession of a weapon when prohibited from doing so.

Prosecuting, Daniel Taylor said on February 23, Mitson entered the shop five minutes before closing time and threatened the assistant using a knife with a five-inch long blade.

He stole £466 from the till before fleeing, the court heard.

The following day, February 24, Mitson went into the Co-op Stores in Mildenhall, again five minutes before closing, and produced a knife while making demands for the contents of the tills to be handed over.

Mr Taylor said Mitson threatened to ‘cut up’ Lloyd Alecock who had been in the shop.

Staff initially refused to give him any money but handed over £208 in cash when they heard him making threats.

Mitson also took two bottles of whisky.

The third robbery, on February 26, took place at Lakenheath Pharmacy where Yuk Shan Toby Chiu caught Mitson behind the till.

She confronted him, grabbing him by the elbow, and when Mitson turned he was brandishing a large knife.

Ms Chiu screamed and ran to the dispensary area while Mitson made demands for money.

Mr Taylor said Mitson fled with £282 in cash and was arrested the next day after police, responding to an anonymous tip-off, searched his house and recovered a knife and a bottle of whisky.

Sentencing him, Mr Recorder Richard Christie told Mitson: “You went out and committed not one but three robberies on consecutive days.”

“You went on a drink and drug bender and committed offences.”

He said a total of £1,000 was stolen during the robberies which had left the victims ‘extremely distressed and frightened’.

The court heard Mitson had 14 previous convictions for 27 separate offences including attempted robbery, criminal damage, dishonesty and drugs.

In mitigation, Declan Gallagher said Mitson had his own cell while he was in Norwich prison but went to live in a hostel after his release and was worse off than when he was inside.

“He was ill-equipped to deal with life outside,” said Mr Gallagher, adding that Mitson was reintroduced to class A drugs and was drinking.

He said Mitson committed the offences while under the influence of drink and drugs or to continue ‘the bender’.