Postmistress tried to foil armed robbery

Tydd Gote Post Office, where the armed raid took place.
Tydd Gote Post Office, where the armed raid took place.
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A postmistress was injured when she tried to stop two armed intruders from robbing a village store, a court was told.

Jane Wright refused to help when two men brandishing what appeared to be guns burst into the shop at Tydd Gote, Lincoln Crown Court heard.

The robbers fled with only £670 from the days’ float after Mrs Wright gave them just part of the code for the safe despite being pushed to the ground.

Sam Holmes (21) and David Leadbeater (22) are alleged to have carried out the robbery on June 21. It is claimed they were helped by Leadbeater’s sister, Sasha Cracknell (21).

Stephen Lowne, prosecuting, said Mrs Wright, who had been a postmistress for more than 20 years, swore at the men when they entered the store and shouted at her to open up the post office.

She said one of the men appeared to have a grey handgun while the other had a gun two metres in length with a wooden butt, Mr Lowne told the jury.

She was pushed to the floor and kicked in the ankles but refused to reveal the full code for the safe.

Mr Lowne said when one of the robbers asked Mrs Wright what she was doing she replied: “I am kicking you back.”

The jury were told that after the incident Mrs Wright remembered receiving a phone call from a woman the day before robbery asking what the opening times of the post office were.

It is alleged the phone call was later traced to a number belonging to Sasha Cracknell who at the time was living in Allenby’s Chase, Sutton Bridge.

Mr Lowne told the jury: “We say Sam Holmes and David Leadbeater went in to the store with guns. Sasha Cracknell made inquiries when the post office opened, although she was not in the store brandishing weapons, she assisted them.”

After the robbery a stolen car with false number plates was found just 250 yards from Miss Cracknell’s home.

Mr Lowne added: “Mrs Wright received a number of injuries including bruising to her back which required some physio and bruising on he left lower ankle where she was kicked.” Cracknell, of Allenby’s Chase; Holmes of The Knole, Eltham, in South-East London; and Leadbeater , of no fixed address, all deny robbery.

nThe trial, which is expected to last two weeks, continues.