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 Trio jailed for more than 22 years following village Post Office robbery


​THREE men have been jailed for a combined total of more than 22 years in relation to an armed robbery at a village Post Office.

Armed robber David Hanley entered Hunwick Post Office wearing a balaclava underneath a motocross helmet carrying a gun which he had concealed inside a carrier bag.

During the incident, which happened at 11.30am on April 25, the 28-year-old produced the gun and told the postmistress to open a safe and give him the money.

He was handed a tray containing more than £7,400 worth of sterling and foreign currency before leaving the premises.

He then rode to a meeting point before abandoning the motorbike and making off in a van driven by his accomplice, 26-year-old James Wright.

The pair hid the gun at a family member’s home address which was later removed and disposed of by Wright’s brother Thomas Wright, 28.

Hanley, of Crook, admitted robbery, possession of an imitation firearm and theft of the motorbike.

He was jailed for 12 years at Durham Crown Court last week.

James Wright, of Willington, received nine years and two months for robbery, perverting the course of justice by concealing a weapon and theft of the motorbike, while his brother, Thomas, of Frodsham, Cheshire, admitted attempting to pervert the course of justice. He was jailed for 16 months.

Detective Constable Andrea Luck, of South Durham CID, said: “The victims of this crime have served their community for many years providing a Post Office in the village of Hunwick.

“In less than 90 seconds their lives were changed by the abhorrent behaviour of two individuals, David Hanley and James Wright. They have never been able to reopen the Post Office and wrongly feel they have let the community down.

“A third individual interfered with the investigation and made sure that the weapon used has never been recovered. The fear this incident has caused has had a devastating effect on the victims and it is instilled in their minds.”

She added: “Our support is with the victims and the sentences given to the three individuals involved is a positive result in helping them return to normality.

“We would like to thank all the members of the local community, individuals and businesses who assisted the investigation which led to the arrest of the offenders early in the investigation and allowed us to protect the victims of this heinous crime.”