Suspects released on bail over market raid

TWO robbery suspects were released on police bail last night as detectives continued their investigation into a raid that left one man dead.

Clint Townsend, 33, stopped breathing after he was tackled by members of the public during a robbery attempt at John Gowing Jewellers in Oxford’s Covered Market on Saturday. Two other men, aged 31 and 32, were arrested on Sunday on suspicion of robbery.

They were released on police bail last night, as friends of Townsend posted messages in tribute to him.

Townsend and another man were seen pushing a motorcycle through the Covered Market before then trying to smash a window of the jeweller’s at about 9.15am on Saturday.

But staff and members of the public restrained Townsend, who then stopped breathing, as his accomplice feld.

Townsend was taken to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford as paramedics worked to restart his heart. He died in hospital on Sunday afternoon. Friends took to social media site Facebook to express their sadness.

Lee Wilkins said: “Sad news today from a family I’ve known for many years.

“My prayers and warm wishes go out to Darren Townsend and the whole family.

“Gone but never forgotten... will miss your cheeky grin and laugh Clint... x”

Another well wisher was Carole Partlett, from Cowley.

She wrote: “Rip Clint Town-send, who died in unfortunate circumstances today.

“So young and so sadly missed by his family. My thoughts are with you all.”

Aijaz Ali also commented on the social networking site. He said: “RIP Clint Townsend too many good people gone so quickly.”

And another friend, Patrick Just, added: “RIP Clint Townsend sadly missed mate.”

A post mortem examination to establish the exact cause of Mr Townsend’s death will now be carried out.

The second suspected robber fled empty-handed and escaped along Turl Street and Blue Boar Street, where he dumped clothing and his helmet.

Police said he got on a bus in the city centre to make his escape, before getting off in the St Clement’s area.

Officers were seen dusting the green and black Kawasaki motorbike, which had been left lying outside the jewellers, for prints on Saturday.

The motorbike, a Kawasaki ZX6R, was stolen from a property in Botley Road on Wednesday at about 11am.

  • Anyone with information about the robbery is asked to call Det Sgt Matt Jarman on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

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