Masked pair threatened Derbyshire post office worker in £32,000 raid

Pictured is Derby Crown Court.
Pictured is Derby Crown Court.

A 29-year-old Codnor man has admitted robbing a post office of more than £32,000.

Dwain Tainton, of Mill Lane, changed his plea to guilty on the second day of his trial at Derby Crown Court.

He had previously denied the charge which saw him and a second man enter Crich post office shortly before 12.30pm on April 26 with motorcycle helmets over their heads and their faces concealed by scarves.

While one of them stood guard at the door, the other threatened the postmistress and told her ‘don’t do anything stupid or you will get hurt’ – before stealing thousands of pounds in cash from the safe behind the counter. The second man, Ian Armstrong, 35, of Grangewood Road, Meir, Stoke-on-Trent, had already pleaded guilty to robbery before Tainton’s trial began.

On the first day of the trial, the jury was told how Tainton entered Crich driving his girlfriend’s car while Armstrong was on a motorcycle.

After robbing the post office, both of them initially fled on the motorbike before one of them got in the car and the pair left the area separately. The motorcycle was later recovered having been dumped in the River Derwent.

In a statement read out on the first day of the trial, postmistress Karen Woodward said she was working alone at the post office when Tainton and Armstrong came in.

Reading out her statement, prosecutor Jonathan Dee said: “I opened the hatch where the parcels go thinking he was going to hand me a parcel but he reached through and grabbed me by the wrist. He said to me ‘don’t do anything stupid or you will get hurt’.

“I was frightened for my safety. He managed to get in the door and again said to me ‘get out of the way, don’t do anything stupid’. He started getting notes out of the safe and pushed them through a gap, presumably to his accomplice.

“I was trying to press the panic alarm button but you need to press two buttons at the same time and I was unable to do that.”

In her statement, Mrs Woodward, who the jury was told has been the postmistress in Market Place, Crich, for 33 years said the two bikers then left the shop, and she called 999. In total, they got away with £32,580.

Tainton was arrested three weeks after the robbery.

Judge Peter Cooke adjourned the case and is scheduled to sentence both Tainton and Armstong on Friday, December 8.