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JUST DESSERTS


KNIFE WIELDING THUG JAILED FOR 13 YEARS FOR SOUTHEND ROBBERIES


A knife-wielding robber has been jailed for 13 years after a number of robberies and other offences over the course of three months. According to the Echo, Marcus Piper, 27, of no fixed address, was sentenced at Basildon Crown Court on 4 March. Piper had committed robberies, an attempted robbery and an aggravated burglary over the course of three months in 2020. His arrest followed the robbery of a taxi driver on Colchester Road in Southend on August 22. Another robbery took place on September 5 and an attempted rob- bery the day after on Palmerston Road in Westcliff. On September 12 he had used a knife to intimidate an employee at Station News, Shoebury, threatening to "cut [his] throat" and stab the victim. He then demanded money from the till and took three packets of cigars from behind the counter. Piper dropped the weapon and a pack-


et of cigars near Shoebury train station which were forensically recovered to add to the case against him. On October 14 he threatened to kill


an employee at Londis newsagents in Ronald Park Avenue, Westcliff, if he did not give him the money from the till. He was armed with a knife on this occasion too.


Piper forced entry to a property on Rochford Road, Southend, armed with a baseball bat and caused injuries to one resident before stealing electrical items from the victim. At court Piper was sentenced to 13 years in prison for the aggravated bur- glary. He received four years for each of the robberies of taxi drivers, and six-and-a- half years for newsagent charge. These sentences will run concurrently


to the aggravated burglary sentence, and he must serve two thirds of his time in prison before being considered eligible for parole. Detective Inspector Steve Franklin, who manages Southend CID, said: “Piper continually targeted people who were just doing their job during a really difficult time for small businesses and those who are self-employed. I know they suffered significant losses because of his greed. “I am sure that his violent actions will have a lasting impact on all of those who were affected by these crimes and I would like to thank all of the members of the public who came forward to report these incidents to us." Detectives had issued an appeal to find Piper on social media and through the charity Crimestoppers offering a reward. Public information helped intelligence teams track down Piper and he was arrested by Southend Proactive Team on October 21 last year.


22 MONTHS’ JAIL FOR DRUNK MAN WHO ATTACKED GLASGOW DRIVER BEFORE STEALING AND CRASHING TAXI


A banned drink driver who stole a taxi and crashed it into railings has been jailed for nearly two years. STV News reports that Callum Heap, 20, lunged at cabbie Geofray Ezi with a knife before jumping in the front seat on November 15, 2020. Heap raced the taxi from Glasgow’s Castlemilk and collided with a metal railing at Parkhead Forge Retail Park. He was later found to be more than four times over the drink driving limit and had been disqualified from driving until 2022.


He pleaded guilty at Glasgow Sheriff Court to drink driving, dangerous driv- ing and driving while disqualified.


APRIL 2021


Heap also admitted the assault on Mr Ezi which was racially aggravated. Heap was ordered to serve 470 days of an earlier sentence before beginning his latest 22 month jail term and dis- qualified from driving for 47 months. The court heard Heap was told by Mr Ezi that he was not allowed to enter the taxi with the bottle of alcohol he was carrying. Heap stated he wanted Mr Ezi to take him to Pollok before calling him a “black monkey.”


Heap pulled out a “long-serrated knife” while sitting in the back of the taxi and lunged at Mr Ezi making stabbing motions.


Prosecutor John Bedford said: “Heap was observed climbing from the rear seat and entering the driver’s seat. He revved the engine and drove off from Ballantay Road at speed in a reckless manner, narrowly missing two people.” Police later found the Volkswagen Pas- sat taxi crashed against metal railings at the shopping complex. Heap was spotted exiting the car while extremely drunk carrying a bottle of Buckfast.


He fled while stating “I don’t have a knife” and dropping a number of items. Officers caught up with him and he was arrested and discovered to have an alcohol count of 97. The legal limit is 22.


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