Men jailed after post office burglary and police pursuit through Norwich

Freethorpe post office and stores which sustained damage to its front door after a burglary.  Picture: James Bass Freethorpe post office and stores which sustained damage to its front door after a burglary. Picture: James Bass

Peter Walsh peter.walsh@archant.co.uk
Friday, August 8, 2014
1:18 PM

Two men who led police on a high-speed pursuit across Norwich following a burglary at a rural post office have been jailed.

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Freethorpe Post Office. Alex Logan was sentanced to 18 months making off without payment, dangerous driving, driving while disqualified, handling stolen goods and theft. Picture: NORFOLK CONSTABULARYFreethorpe Post Office. Alex Logan was sentanced to 18 months making off without payment, dangerous driving, driving while disqualified, handling stolen goods and theft. Picture: NORFOLK CONSTABULARY

The suspects sped across the city reaching speeds of up to 70mph after Freethorpe Post Office, near Acle, was “targeted” by Kirk Cracknell and getaway driver Alexander Logan shortly before 11pm on March 11 this year.

In a black Vauxhall Vectra they sped through a number of communities throughout the city, including Heartsease, Hellesdon and Drayton, during a dramatic pursuit in which a police car was rammed, before finally being stopped at the junction of Reepham Road and School Road, Drayton.

Norwich Crown Court heard Cracknell had smashed open the door of the post office and taken the till, containing £60, in the burglary before jumping into the car being driven by Logan.

The vehicle was picked up by police after making off without payment at a BP petrol station following the burglary and then spotted by officers in Barrack Street, Norwich.

Freethorpe Post Office. Kirk Cracknell was sentanced to 8 months for burglary and possession of an offensive weapon. Picture: NORFOLK CONSTABULARYFreethorpe Post Office. Kirk Cracknell was sentanced to 8 months for burglary and possession of an offensive weapon. Picture: NORFOLK CONSTABULARY

They then “accelerated hard” from the police car quickly reaching 50mph in an “urban residential area” before jumping red lights while travelling between 60mph and 70mph.

The car then came to a “sudden stop” at the junction of Hellesdon Hall Road.

The police car slowed behind at which point the reverse lights came on from the defendants’ car which “reversed into the police car with such force it caused the engine of the police car to fail”.

The defendants were lost for about three minutes but picked up again by other officers driving of speeds up to 70mph before finally being stopped.

Cracknell, 28, of Richmond Road, Costessey and Logan, 30, of no fixed abode appeared at Norwich Crown Court to be sentenced yesterday.

Cracknell, who has a total of 27 convictions from 66 previous offences, previously admitted burglary and a separate offence of possession of an offensive weapon, on August 5.

Logan, who has 29 convictions from 101 previous offences, previously admitted dangerous driving, making off without payment, driving while disqualified as well as handling stolen goods in relation to the burglary on March 11.

He also admitted a number of offences relating to a separate incident, including making off without payment, driving while disqualified and theft.

Jonathan Morgans, for Logan, admitted his client had a “poor” record but added there had been a large gap in his offending until these matters and that he had motivation to change his ways. He also said he should receive credit for his pleas.

Ian James, for Cracknell, said it was an “unsophisticated” burglary and “spur of the moment act of folly committed against a background of financial stress”. He said his client should receive full credit for plea.

In terms of the offensive weapon matter Mr James said it was a knuckle duster in the shape of a belt buckle which Cracknell had no intention of using as a weapon.

Sentencing Cracknell to a total of eight months in prison and Logan to a total of 18 months in prison, Judge Nicholas Coleman said the burglary was a “targeted act” and described the driving as a “sustained period of bad driving in a built up area”.

Have you got a crime story? Call Peter Walsh on 01603 772436 or email peter.walsh@archant.co.uk

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