Stowmarket drug user robbed betting shop to get help with his addiction

Ipswich Crown Court

Ipswich Crown Court

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A Stowmarket drug user who robbed a betting shop afterwards told police that he had done it to get help with his addiction.

Martin Everdell, 35, threatened a worker at the town’s Coral Bookmakers, in the Market Place, while armed with a knife and got away with £140.

Today (Tuesday) Ipswich Crown Court heard that Everdell, of The Grove, Stowmarket, walked into the shop on the evening of March 26 with a scarf covering his face.

Michael Crimp, prosecuting, said the lone member of staff behind the counter handed over notes from the till following repeated and ‘menacing’ demands from Everdell who was brandishing a large knife.

Immediately after Everdell hurried from the shop, he was seen by a member of the public to discard a knife in a bin.

Mr Crimp said Everdell was quickly identified and arrested and admitted to officers that he was responsible for the robbery.

The court heard that Everdell said he wanted to be arrested and that was why he committed the crime.

In a statement, Everdell, who was using heroin at the time, said: “Prison will save my life.”

He added: “If I carry on using heroin I will be dead this time next year.”

Jacqueline Appleton, in mitigation, said that Everdell managed to stop using heroin 15-years-ago but had restarted and his life was on a ‘downward spiral’.

Everdell pleaded guilty to robbery and possession of an offensive weapon in a public place.

Judge David Goodin, who sentenced Everdell to a total of 32 months imprisonment, said the robbery had caused ‘significant trauma’ to the member of staff.