PO customers sat on armed robber
8:00am Friday 31st August 2012 in Ammanford news
A SWANSEA Crown Court judge has praised the “foresight and courage” of customers and staff at Cwmllynfell Post Office who tackled a masked robber.
Sion Armstrong, 18, had a concealed Stanley knife in his right hand when he raided the post office at around 3pm on July 5, said prosecutor Kevin Jones.
But the bungling would-be bandit had reckoned without the courage of owners Leighton and Linda Thomas, the court was told.
Having covered his face with a scarf, Armstrong, of Railway Terrace, Cwmllynfell, pushed Mrs Thomas’s mother Ruth Jones and ordered assistant Denise Phillips to open the till had give him the money.
Mr Thomas responded to his wife’s screams and was butted by Armstrong as he tried to push him out of the shop.
Passer-by Mia Rainey and another member of the public ran to help and, together with Mr Thomas, grappled with Armstrong, forcing him to the floor and sitting on him until the police arrived.
Locking up Armstrong for two years and nine months in a Young Offender Institute for attempted robbery and six months to run concurrently for possessing an offensive weapon, Judge Peter Heywood said small businesses in rural communities were “a lifeline” for the community.
Praising those who tackled Armstrong, he said: “Their actions showed considerable foresight and courage.”
Armstrong admitted the charges. Dyfed Thomas, for the defendant, said he had acted “out of character”.