Freethorpe post office owner ‘disappointed’ with sentences after burglary which prompted police pursuit across 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

Monday, August 11, 2014
10:08 AM

The owner of a village post office and store which has been raided twice in just a matter of months said she was “disappointed” with the short sentences given to two men who were involved in the latest burglary.

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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

Freethorpe Post Office, near Acle, was “targeted” by burglar Kirk Cracknell and getaway driver Alexander Logan shortly before 11pm on March 11 this year.

After Cracknell smashed his way into the store and stole the till, containing £60, they fled in a black Vauxhall Vectra and 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.

Cracknell, 28, of Richmond Road, Costessey and Logan, 30, of no fixed abode appeared were sentenced to a total of eight months and 18 months in prison at Norwich Crown Court last week after both admitted their part in the offence.

Cracknell previously pleaded guilty to burglary and a separate offence of possession of an offensive weapon, while Logan, previously admitted dangerous driving, making off without payment, driving while disqualified as well as handling stolen goods in relation to the burglary.

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

Jo Simpson, who has owned the shop since taking over from her father who retired in March last year, said she was “very disappointed” with the length of the sentences.

She said: “I was quite amazed at the short sentences. I thought it would’ve been longer.

“They got eight months and 18 months so its not very good at all. I just think what is the world coming to.”

When Cracknell and Logan targeted the store Mrs Simpson was still trying to come to terms with a raid on the store in October last year in which the till, containing £130 in cash and £70 worth of stamps was taken.

Earlier this year, Dennis Frodsham, 33, of no fixed address, and Peter Moreland, 35, from Horn Park Lane, London, both admitted their part in the offence but escaped custodial sentences.

Recorder Guy Ayers made Frodsham subject to an 18-month community order and 60 hours unpaid work, as he had already spent many months in custody. Moreland was given a six month jail sentence suspended for two years.

Mrs Simpson said: “What’s annoying to me is its cost us a lot of money. As a business its cost us probably £2,000 to £3,000 by the time we’ve paid insurance.

“They only took the till and £60. You’re only talking £300 to get a new till but its not just that we had to repair the door and we lost two days of business. We’ve lost £2,000 to £3,000 over the two incidents. It’s pretty frustrating really.”

With the store having been targeted twice in just a matter of months, Mrs Simpson said she hopes there are no further incidents.

She said: “My dad was here 37 years and had nothing. I’ve was here on my own for not even a year and had two. I hope I’ve had my fair share now.”

Have you got a crime story? Email peter.walsh@archant.co.uk

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