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Carlisle robbery duo locked up for total of 18 years

Ben Addison and Kai Bowman

[T]WO young men who robbed a lone woman at knifepoint in a Carlisle park have been locked up for a total of more than 18 years.

The city’s crown court heard how a blade was drawn across the terrified 32-year-old victim’s face and held against her flesh as she walked through Melbourne Park at around 9pm on March 28.

With their faces concealed, Ben Addison, 19, and 20-year-old accomplice Kai Bowman each brandished knives and snatched the woman’s handbag and mobile phone before fleeing. She was left “screaming and crying”, and later had nightmares following a crime which was said to have “effectively destroyed her”.

The robbery at Melbourne Park occurred between 9pm and 9.15pm on 28th March. Bowman and Addison each held a knife to the victim, a 32-year-old woman, and demanded her phone and bag. During the ordeal one of the men ran a knife down the side of her face and neck. Both men made off from the scene with the phone, the bag and its contents.

A member of the public witnessed both men hide a bag under a car parked in Linton Street and picked this up and handed this in the next day. The contents of the bag were recovered with the exception of the mobile phone and £15 in cash.

Bargain Booze on Carlisle’s Furze Street – scene of one of Ben Addison’s two city knifepoint robberies.

Addison and Bowman were sentenced today (MON) having admitted robbery and threatening their victim with weapons. Homeless Bowman also admitted perverting the course of justice having asked a relative to lie about his whereabouts on the night.

In addition, Addison was punished for a string of other crimes. These included another knifepoint robbery, at a Carlisle off-licence on March 19, and assaults on two women. One female was the mother of his young baby, who was on her knee at the time.

Addison, of Melbourne Road, Carlisle, was given nine-and-a-half-years’ detention, while more heavily-convicted Bowman received a sentence of eight years, eight months.

“It is a disgusting and despicable act of cowardice,” Mr Recorder McDonald said of their park robbery. “You ought to be thoroughly ashamed of yourselves.”

A number of enquiries including a public CCTV appeal led to Addison being identified as the person responsible.

Addison received a further three and half years for this robbery and will therefore serve a total of nine years and six months. He will also serve time concurrently for harassment, witness intimidation and two counts of assault.

Detective Constable Deborah Story of North Cumbria CID, who investigated the Melbourne Park robbery, said: “This was a terrifying ordeal for the victim and thankfully she was not injured.

“I hope that at some point Bowman and Addison take into account the fear that they caused to an innocent woman who was simply making her way to work.

“I would like to thank the victim for her courage shown during this investigation. I would also like to praise the member of the public who saw the two men and handed in the bag they tried to conceal. There a number of other witnesses that also came forward that deserve to be recognised as their evidence was crucial in bringing both men to justice.

“While both men pleaded guilty to the offences, I doubt that they feel any remorse and they thoroughly deserve the sentences imposed.”

Speaking about the robbery at the Bargain Booze store, Detective Sergeant Fiona Murray said: “This was a frightening incident for both staff members who were innocently working before being threatened with a knife. Thankfully nobody was injured although both were left understandably shaken.

“I’d like thank the staff members in this case for their support and also members the public who supplied information following our appeal.”

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