Lawless Harlow man jailed for seven years

Crime / Wed 14th Feb 2018 at 02:16pm

A MAN who tried to evade justice for an attempted robbery has been jailed for nearly seven years.


Derek Lawless was arrested in September 2014 after a 63-year-old man was assaulted in Harlow.

The victim had gone to a shop in Partridge Road at about 2.30pm on July 28, 2014 when he was approached outside by a driver who asked for a cigarette.

He said he was about to buy some from the shop and would let him have one on his way out.

But when he gave him the cigarette, the man demanded money, rifled through his trouser pockets and pushed him to the ground.

The suspect drove off, leaving the victim injured in the street. The man was taken to hospital and required treatment for a fractured hip and arm.

Following an investigation and witness accounts, Lawless was identified in connection with the incident and arrested. He was subsequently charged that December with attempted robbery and GBH.

He denied the offences and after failing to attend court on six occasions, he eventually stood trial at Chelmsford Crown Court on December 19, 2017 .

However, he failed to turn up part way through and the court issued a warrant for his arrest.

Lawless, now 37, of Primrose Field, Harlow, was arrested on December 22 following a public appeal for information on his whereabouts.

A re-trial took place on February 5, 2018 and a jury found him guilty of both counts and failing to surrender to custody at appointed time on February 9, 2018

He was jailed the same day for a total of six years and nine months.

Investigating officer Dc Laura Cuthbert said: “This was a vicious attack on a man going about his daily business, all for the sake of a few pence and some cigarettes.

“The victim is still recovering from his serious injuries and has had to wait three-and-a-half years for justice to be served.

“Derek Lawless sought to thwart the trial process failing to appear at court and then absconding while the trial was ongoing.

“I am glad the victim has finally seen justice done and I hope he now has the closure he desperately needed.

“I thank him and the witnesses who have provided evidence to the court for their support throughout this prolonged ordeal.”

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