Lowestoft: Men Jailed After Aggravated Burglary

Two men have each been jailed for seven years after an aggravated burglary at an address in Marine Parade, Lowestoft.

It happened at an address in Marine Parade in Lowestoft on January 26 this year.

Matthew Gray, 27, formerly of High Street, Kessingland, and Ricky Beckford, 19, of St Johns Road in Lowestoft, both appeared at Ipswich Crown Court yesterday, Thursday 24 May, for sentencing after pleading guilty to the attack at a home of a 24-year-old man.

The 24-year-old was in his flat around 8.20pm on Thursday 26 January when he heard a knock at his window. He went to answer the door to a young woman he knew but after speaking to her briefly she left and moments later two males appeared with their faces covered by hats and scarves. Both were holding knives.

The 24-year-old was then threatened and told to get back into his flat. He was then told to sit down and stay there or he would be stabbed.

A games console and mobile phone were then taken and the victim struck on the knee with a hammer before the pair were interrupted by a friend of the 24-year-old banging on the door. The two offenders then walked out of the flat and the 24-year-old managed to alert his friend to the fact he was being robbed. The victim then tackled one of the two offenders – Matthew Gray - and managed to detain him until police arrived. The 24-year-old sustained a cut to his finger and grazes in the struggle.

Police seized several items at the scene including two knives and the items of property that had initially been taken.

Enquiries led officers to Ricky Beckford and he was arrested that evening.

Both men were taken into custody, interviewed by officers and charged the following day with aggravated burglary.

Matthew Gray subsequently co-operated with Suffolk Police's Operation Converter team and admitted three further offences - a walk-in burglary at a home in Carlton Road overnight Sunday 22 - Monday 23 January where a wallet containing hundreds of pounds of cash and bank cards were stolen while the occupants slept upstairs; an attempted shed break-in at Stanford Street on Sunday 22 January and an attempted burglary at a home in Alma Road also on Sunday 22.

Both men were sentenced to seven years imprisonment.

Detective Inspector Darrell Skuse, of Waveney CID, said; "This was a nasty incident and we are pleased that a significant sentence has been given to reflect this. Through the work of the Operation Converter team we have also been able to given three other victims of crime some closure, after information that Gray gave us about crimes he committed matched up with details of three other reported burglary incidents. I'd like to thank the victim whose actions helped to detain Gray at the scene and all the officers involved with the case whose efforts have led to this result."

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