Getaway driver Adam Fairbrass from Harold Wood has sentence slashed

The getaway driver in an armed robbery at a rural Suffolk shop and post office saw his prison sentence slashed on appeal by top judges yesterday (Thursday June 28).

Adam Michael Ray Fairbrass, 29, waited outside the post office in Hopton for the gunman, Trevor Summers, to emerge following the July 2010 raid.

In January, Fairbrass, of Redden Court Road, Harold Wood, was sentenced to eight years’ jail at Ipswich Crown Court after pleading guilty to conspiracy to rob.

But today, he won an appeal in London and had his prison sentence slashed to seven years by Mr Justice Owen and Mr Justice Griffith Williams.

Mr Justice Griffith Williams said a distinction had to be made between Fairbrass and his accomplice, who had numerous previous robbery convictions.

The Court of Appeal heard Summers entered the small shop and post office in quiet Thelnetham Road, Hopton, on the morning of July 28, 2010.

He approached the counter and quietly demanded that the post mistress hand over cash from the till, showing her a handgun and a knife.

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The post mistress, who was shaking in terror, took out about �1,000 in cash and handed it over to Summers, who then walked out.

He got into a car and was driven away by Fairbrass, but witnesses were able to supply police with a description and partial registration number.

Both admitted the conspiracy and, while Fairbrass got his eight-year sentence, Summers got the same term with four years of extended licence conditions.

Today, Fairbrass’ lawyers argued that Summers’ much more serious criminal record justified distinguishing between the pair when sentencing.

Although Fairbrass had previous convictions, they were for assault and carrying a weapon, while Summers had served sentences for a dozen robberies.

Giving the judgment, Mr Justice Griffith Williams said: “Those who play their different parts in a conspiracy to rob are responsible for the overall offending.

“While the learned judge was correct to not differentiate between the respective roles in the robbery, we are persuaded that there is some force in the submission that the judge should have reflected the greater culpability of Summers by reason of his previous convictions.”

“In our judgment, the appropriate sentence in the appellant’s case is one of seven years’ imprisonment.”