Post office raiders face jail

TWO men who carried out a string of raids on post offices across north Essex have been told they will be jailed.Christopher Ross, 21, of High Street, Earls Colne, and Gary Marvell, 22, of Cathedral Drive in Laindon, both pleaded guilty to three counts of robbery which netted a total of £47,000.

TWO men who carried out a string of raids on post offices across north Essex have been told they will be jailed.

Christopher Ross, 21, of High Street, Earls Colne, and Gary Marvell, 22, of Cathedral Drive in Laindon, both pleaded guilty to three counts of robbery which netted a total of £47,000.

The pair were charged following raids on post offices at Birch, West Bergholt and Great Tey between September and December last year.

Chelmsford Crown Court heard yesterdayRoss and Marvell had stolen cash, postage stamp books and vehicle licence books during the three frightening attacks.


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Ross also pleaded guilty to having a sawn-off shotgun with intent to commit robbery.

Judge Gareth Hawkesworth asked for pre-sentence reports to be prepared and a psychiatric assessment made on Ross.

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Following the pleas, Michael Hirst, sub postmaster at Great Tey Post Office, which was hit in a raid in October, said the small amount of money kept on the premises meant attacks were simply not worth it.

He said: “Maybe robbers felt like we were an easy target, but we now have a lot of security including high resolution CCTV and time-delay safe alarms.

“You don't think it will happen to you - I hope they go away for a long time.”

He added the amount of money kept on his premises was “very small”.

During a raid by the pair on the Co-op owned post office in Chapel Road in West Bergholt on September 8, a 39-year-old woman worker was left badly shaken after the two-men strode in and confronted her.

One of the robbers demanded money and the pair forced her to unlock the door of the counter and open the safe.

Ross also pleaded guilty to another charge of handing stolen goods - a Ford Sierra Cosworth - in November 2002.

Sentencing will take place later this year.

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