Robber assaulted three people in Axminster

PUBLISHED: 14:01 22 August 2018

Darren Wilcox.

Darren Wilcox.

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Escaped prisoner is back behind bars

A fugitive prisoner who assaulted three people in Axminster is back behind bars after appearing in court accused of a series of assaults in East Devon.

Darren Wilcox is serving a seven and a half year sentence for the robbery of an elderly couple in Wales in 2010 but has twice been subject to police appeals to trace him.

The 38-year-old absconded from an open prison two years into his sentence and broke the conditions of his licence last year.

Police issued warnings to the public to stay away from him and to report any sightings on each occasion, most recently in November last year.

Wilcox assaulted three people in Axminster, after being released on licence in 2015 and appeared at Exeter Crown Court under the name of Darren Roberts.

He pleaded guilty to assaults which caused actual bodily harm to a woman and two men when he appeared at Exeter Magistrates last month.

All the assaults took place at Axminster on June 28, 2015.

His case was adjourned to next month by Recorder Martin Meeke, QC, after he was told that Roberts has changed his legal team and had not had a chance to meet them.

The judge granted him technical bail, but he is currently back in custody after being recalled on licence.

Wilcox, of Mynachdy, Cardiff, was jailed for seven and a half years at Swansea Crown Court in August 2011 for robbing carpet fitter Barry Davies and his partner Sheila John of their £140,000 life savings. Co defendant Ryan Edwards, now aged 33, of Garylydan, Ebbw Vale, was jailed for seven years

The couple kept the money in a safe in their modest home at Pembroke Docks because they did not trust banks but Wilcox and Edwards learned of the hoard and robbed them.

They tied up Ms John and stole the safe but were traced by Edwards’s DNA on the cable ties they used. Wilcox was traced because of phone contact with Edwards.

The safe was virtually empty and the money had been spent. Wilcox blew £9,000 in a single day on high stakes slot machines.

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