'I thought I was going to die': Victim left feeling paranoid after robbery
- Credit: Archant
A victim of a gang robbery which saw three men sentenced for a total of 37 years has said she thought she was going to die.
Freddie Aguis, 29, and Shane Johnson, 30, were each given 16-year extended sentences and John Weaver, 35, was jailed for five-and-a-half years at Norwich Crown Court after a high-end robbery in Hingham on Wednesday, March 13.
A Norfolk woman in her late 50s was mugged outside Hingham Fish Bar by the gang, as her watch and jewellery were stolen before the men drove off in her Mercedes car.
The victim said the court's decision would not be "real justice" as it would never be enough to compensate for what the gang put her through.
"This didn’t just happen and we move on. For victims, it is a living nightmare," she said.
"I am a strong woman and thankfully have good friends and family, but I would have considered ending my life if I hadn’t.
"Living in fear is horrible, I had no idea. You see dreadful things on the news and crime dramas, but when it is for real you cannot believe how humans can be so appalling – and for what? How would they feel if it happened to someone they love?
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"They nearly suffocated me, I was out of breath, I thought I was going to die. At this point they are lucky not to be looking at a murder charge."
The victim said she was devastated to lose other personal possessions besides the jewellery including a black leather wallet with "very personal" family letters inside, and a notelet from her late mother-in-law.
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"It meant so much to me that I have cried numerous times over it, kicking myself that I had it with me and hadn’t photocopied it," she said.
"Phones, passports can all be replaced and stupid to steal as they are locked out and tracked. But in my purse, my children had given me silly things I had kept inside it since they were tiny, and it is the small things you have had all your life that mean so much."
She had also kept a knitted dog keyring from her cousin inside her purse which she had stitched up every time it ripped.
"These items are worth nothing whatsoever to anyone, but to me they were precious and everything to me and I am crying as I write this as I miss them," she continued in her victim statement.
She believes the items were probably thrown away, but hopes the men had a "shred of decency" to let her know where they were.
The victim said: "I have worked hard all my life even doing two jobs when my children were little, and the only reason I had a good car and nice jewellery is because my mum had recently died.
"My husband was put out of full-time work last year and he just takes part-time work now to be with me most of the time.
"If I had a pension I would retire as I am struggling to keep up with my job. What these men have taken from me in confidence and peace of mind far outweighs what they took on the night.
"I can’t even go in my garden in the dark now and I loved sitting outside in the summer, and I can’t travel further afield without someone else as I am paranoid I may be attacked.
"I have put on huge amounts of weight comfort eating and feel thoroughly dreadful. Even though I have lost my best things, we’ve added house security, just so that I feel safer.
"These men have been evil and cruel. I doubt they are sorry at all, but I hope they have a spark of decency and giving up information to help reunite people with their stolen items would be a good start."
The victim's neighbours have also increased security measures to their home in response to the crime.