“Give me £3,000 - or I will shoot a customer,” failed post office robber’s demand

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A desperate man threatened to shoot a post office customer during a failed robbery, despite not having a gun,

Lee Paul Morrow, 39, handed a Wakefield Post Office clerk a written note stating: “Give me £3,000 now or I’m going to shoot a customer.”

Prosecutor Brian Outhwaite said the clerk asked Morrow: “Are you serious?” Morrow said of course he was, and told him to get the cash.

But the clerk said no money was kept at his position and he hit the panic button.

Morrow left the post office empty-handed shortly after 11.40am on December 23 but turned himself in at Wood Street Police Station two hours later .

Leeds Crown Court heard Morrow didn’t have a gun but admitted possessing a hunting knife and a lock knife while at the Providence Street post office. The knives weren’t produced during the botched raid and Morrow claimed he forgot he had them.

Morrow, of Darnley Avenue, Wakefield, admitted attempted robbery and possession of a bladed or pointed article.

The court heard Morrow had been on benefits for a number of years, saw no prospect of getting a job and set about a foolish plan to get cash.

Richard Canning, mitigating, said: “It was clearly an act of idiotic desperation where there was no intention other than to chance his arm to see if he could get any money.”

The Recorder of Leeds, Judge Peter Collier QC, passing a two-year jail sentence, said: “You woke up and were short of money. So you decided to attempt to rob the post office in Wakefield.

“You penned a note, which said you had a gun and if you weren’t given £3,000 immediately you would kill a customer in the post office. You presented the note.

“There was no reason for the counter clerk not to believe you had a weapon to carry out the offence.

“It was a post office where those who serve the public are vulnerable to attacks like this and such offences are always treated very seriously by the courts.”