Post office raiders behind bars
THREE men who carried out a terrifying raid at a village post office were behind bars last night after receiving sentences totaling nearly 15 years.Former Elveden postmistress Denise Richmond-Floyd, who was behind the counter when the men struck, said last night she thought justice had been done.
THREE men who carried out a terrifying raid at a village post office were behind bars last night after receiving sentences totaling nearly 15 years.
Former Elveden postmistress Denise Richmond-Floyd, who was behind the counter when the men struck, said last night she thought justice had been done.
She hit the panic alarm when robbers targeted the Elveden village shop and post office earlier this year - but that did not deter them, Ipswich Crown Court heard
More than £4,000 was stolen, and they then made off in a getaway car which crashed in a police chase, the court was told.
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The three assailants, all from London, appeared yesterday before Judge John Devaux.
Marlon Bayley, 19, of Tulse House, Tulse, and Michael Powell, 22, of Mountbatten Close, London SE19, were said by Matthew Gowan, prosecuting, to be the ones who entered the premises.
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They had pleaded guilty to their role in the robbery.
The third man, Daniel Folkes, 22, of Bristow Road, south east London, was last month found by a jury, following his trial, to be the getaway driver.
Powell was jailed for five-and-a-half years, Bayley got five years in a young offenders' centre and Folkes was jailed for four years.
Mr Gowan said the robbery was on April 1 this year. Elveden was on the A11 and there had been a previous robbery there, so Mrs Richmond-Floyd could sense what was going to happen on this occasion.
After Bayley and Powell entered the shop, Powell went to the counter and showed her a post office benefit card and there was some talk about crisps.
Powell then jumped over the closed counter and Mrs Richmond-Floyd made sure the post office section was secure.
But Powell then pushed against the glass with his shoulder, causing the glass to crack.
Mrs Richmond-Floyd used her foot to activate the alarm bell.
Bayley then got on top of the glass screen separating the shop from the post office section.
He jumped into the post office area and the robbers were able to make off with £4,280.
Folkes was waiting some distance away in the getaway car, in a wooded area.
Police were soon in pursuit of the car, which crashed, the three robbers then running off.
Powell was detained by some members of the public and the other two robbers jumped into a river, leaving the stolen cash in a Sainsbury's bag on the river bank.
Mr Gowan said Bayley and Powell had previous convictions for robbery, but Folkes had only driving convictions.
As for this raid, Bayley's barrister, Joanne Eley, said: “There were no direct threats, no weapon was used and no physical violence was used.”
However, she accepted it must have been very frightening for the postmistress.
Similar points were made by the other defence barristers - Matthew Butt for
Folkes and Alan Compton, for Powell, who said addiction to crack cocaine was behind the offending.
Judge Devaux, in sentencing, said it was a pre-planned robbery carried out to pay off drug debts which could not be met by legal means.
Mrs Richmond-Floyd and her husband Andrew, 39, from Elveden, said last night justice had been done and they felt a sense of relief.
Mrs Richmond-Floyd, 44, is still haunted by the incident, but is determined to put it behind her.
She said: "I am happy with what they got. Maybe this will make them think twice about doing this next time.'
Her husband added: "We feel relief, my wife was concerned they would get a short term and be out soon, but this is reasonable and justice has been done.
"This is an ending to the matter, we can try and move on now. It will haunt my wife for some time to come, but we will try and move on and rebuild our life.'
The business closed after the robbery and Mrs Richmond-Floyd resigned from her position, with the couple putting the business on the market. A buyer has now been found.