Three people in court charged with robbery at Tydd Gote Post Office

PUBLISHED: 15:10 04 December 2012

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Archant

A POSTMISTRESS was injured when she tried to stop two armed intruders from robbing a Fenland village store, a court was told.

Jane Wright bravely fought back when two men brandishing what appeared to be guns burst into the shop at Tydd Gote and pushed her to the ground.

The robbers fled with only £670, after Mrs Wright gave them just part of the code for the safe, a jury hard at Lincoln Crown Court.

Sam Holmes, 21, and David Leadbeater, 22, are alleged to have carried out the robbery on June 21 this year, after travelling to Lincolnshire from their homes in the south of England.

It is claimed they were helped by Leadbeater’s sister, Sasha Cracknell, 21, who at the time of the robbery was living in the neighbouring village of Allenby’s Chase.

Mrs Wright, who had been a postmistress for more than 20 years, had described seeing two men wearing full length balaclavas, getting out of a car at the front of shop just before 9am.

Stephen Lowne, prosecuting, said Mrs Wright swore at the men when they entered the store and shouted at her to open up the post office.

Mrs Wright said one 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 leaving the intruders to flee with only the float after smashing the glass panel front to the post office at the rear of the store.

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

Mrs Wright remembered receiving a phone call from a woman the day before robbery, asking what the opening times of the post off were. It is alleged the phone call was later traced to a number belonging to Sasha Cracknell who at the time of the robbery was living at The Old School House 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. Records showed the vehicle had been stolen during a house burglary in Whitstable, Kent, a few days earlier.

Mr Lowne added: “Mrs Wright received a number of injuries including bruising to her back which required some physio, and bruising on her left ankle where she was kicked.”

Cracknell, 21, of The Old School House, Allenby’s Chase; Holmes of The Knole, Eltham, in south-east London; and Leadbeater, 22, of no fixed address but originally from Plumstead, London, all deny robbery at the post office in Station Road, Tydd Gote on 21 June.

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

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