Brother of Peterborough armed robber avoids jail after admitting witness intimidation

Jacob Simpkin
Jacob Simpkin

The brother of an armed robber who held a shop worker at knife point has avoided a prison sentence after he threatened the victim at her home.

Joseph Simpkin went to the home of the woman after his brother, Jacob, was arrested following the robbery at the Co-op in Lawson Avenue.

The pair had known the victim since they were children.

Joseph (25), of Priestgate, Peterborough, appeared at Peterborough Crown Court today where he pleaded guilty to witness intimidation.

He was given a 12 month jail term, suspended for 16 months, ordered to take part in rehabilitation activity for 30 days, 18- hours of unpaid work, and ordered to pay compensation of £600 and a victim surcharge of £140.

He was also banned from contacting the victim, and from going to the Co-op in Lawson Avenue ‘until further order.’

Robert Forrest, prosecuting, told the court Joseph Simpkin was told his brother had been arrested on December 22 last year.

Mr Forrest said: “He took it upon himself to go to the victim’s address in December.

“The defendant was drunk - he started making threats to harm the witness’s brother and father.”

The court heard he also later sent a text message to the victim.

The victim had two weeks off work as a result of what happened.

James Earle, defending, said: “The defendant in the robbery case is this defendant’s younger brother, and their mother was overseas at the time.

“He felt responsible for his brother and wanted to get to the bottom of what happened.

“His remorse for what he has done is genuine, and he made full admissions in interview.

“Nothing in justice was distorted.”

Recorder Suneep Kainth, sentencing, said: “What a fool you are. Now you are here for something pretty serious.”

Jacob Simpkin, (24), went to a branch of Co-Op in Lawson Avenue, Peterborough, on 20 December armed with a 30 centimetre knife.

At about 8pm Jacob Simpkin, of Appleyard, Peterborough, grabbed the woman by the neck from behind, held the knife to her throat and demanded to be taken to the safe.

The woman led him to the safe where a colleague opened it and following demands from Simpkin placed about £7,000 into a black sports bag.

The woman was then able to see Simpkin’s face and confronted him. He pleaded with her not to tell the police, but she refused and he fled the scene. He was arrested the following day.

He was sentenced to four years in prison on Monday having pleaded guilty at a previous hearing.

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