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Harleston armed robbery sentence: shocked residents react to 'thoroughly out of character' crime for town

PUBLISHED: 17:14 27 March 2018 | UPDATED: 17:14 27 March 2018

Harleston Racing where an armed robbery took place in June. Picture; Sabrina Johnson

Harleston Racing where an armed robbery took place in June. Picture; Sabrina Johnson

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"I just could not imagine something like that happening in Harleston - we're such a lovely little community and everybody looks out for one another."

That was the reaction from shocked residents of a tranquil Norfolk market town which the scene of a shocking armed robbery in which a balaclava-clad man brandished an eight-inch knife and stole £6,500.

Dion Carr, 30, of HM Prison Norwich, was given an 11 year extended prison sentence, after he admitted robbing Harleston Racing in The Thoroughfare, Harleston on Friday, June 9 2017.

Amy Middleton, 21, who works at the JD Young Hotel, said: “You wouldn’t think Harleston is that kind of place. It’s a small town, it’s got a few young people but it’s mainly older people.

“Harleston is lovely. It doesn’t make me worry about my safety, obviously it’s a terrible thing but sometimes these things do happen.”

Maureen Rusted who has worked at Sue Read’s Shoes in The Thoroughfare for more than 14 years said the incident had shocked her: “I just could not imagine something like that happening in Harleston. We’re such a lovely little community and everybody looks out for one another.”

Robin Twigge, The owner of the Swan Hotel, in the centre of Harleston said: “I think the sentence is excellent. Of course I’m shocked but I’m pleased that no body was hurt.”

Clive Attwood, head of Harleston and District Business Forum, said the robbery was “thoroughly out of character” for the town.

He added: “I don’t not think any of the businesses in the town have been cowered by it and they will not change their attitude. I do not think it’s changed attitudes.

“Harleston is very much open for business.”

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