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Machete wielding gambling addict carried out terrifying raid on post office

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Machete wielding gambling addict carried out terrifying raid on post office

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https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/m ... d-21835250

Gambling addict Christopher Conrad conned a 80-year-old woman out of her savings before carrying out a terrifying raid at a post office

A gambling addict went on a crime spree culminating in a terrifying machete wielding raid at a Birmingham post office.

Christopher Conrad pretended to the frightened post office staff that he had an accomplice who would shoot them if they tried to leave.

He had earlier conned an 80-year-old widow out of her life savings in a "mean and cowardly" scam.

Conrad, 37, of no fixed address, who had previously admitted two charges of robbery, fraud and possessing an offensive weapon, was jailed for 14 years and four months.

He went into the Yardley post office in Coventry Road at around 4pm on January 18 this year where he jumped the counter while holding a machete.

Conrad then held the blade to the neck of a male employee demanding to be let in to the area where the money was kept.

The employee then began to struggle with the defendant with Conrad in a corridor punching him three or four times to the head and they both fell to the floor.

A female worker then tried to punch the robber who then produced the machete again and threatened to stab her with it.

Conrad then told them that there were "people outside" who would shoot them said Ravi Sidhu, prosecuting at Birmingham Crown Court.

The employees initially thought he was speaking to an accomplice outside on an ear piece but shortly afterwards realised he was bluffing.

They then fled from the premises and Conrad made off with cash and property worth over £130,000.

Mr Sidhu said Conrad's description was circulated on Crime Stoppers and he was later arrested in a Range Rover from where police recovered over £30,000.

He said two days earlier Conrad had robbed a garage in Acocks Green, taking between £400 and £500 after threatening to stab an employee there although no weapon was produced.

Mr Sidhu said the defendant had conned the 80-year-old out of over £32,000.

He had previously worked for a window company as a door to door canvasser but had been given the sack.

Nevertheless he turned up at the home of the victim in November last year claiming he still worked for the company offering to build a utility room.

The pensioner, who had been pleased with previous work done by the company accepted a quote of £32,000.

Mr Sidhu said over the next three months Conrad called at her home on a regular basis demanding cash and cheques which he claimed were for things including paying for builders and materials.

On a couple of occasions he followed victim in his car when she went to cash points and on another someone claiming to be a surveyor came to her home.

Mr Sidhu said that no work was ever done and that in a statement the widow said that had happened had not only affected her financially but had "knocked her for six" and that she felt "used and abused" by Conrad.

In passing sentence Recorder Abigail Nixon said "This spree of very serious offending was brought about by your gambling addiction."

Referring to the offence against the 80-year-old she said "It was a mean, nasty and cowardly offence over a three month period.

"You kept on going back asking for more money.

"You conned her out of all of her savings. You deliberately targeted her.

"You have ruined the rest of her life.

"Having fleeced her you then turned to violence and threats of violence to get more money."

She said by the time of the second robbery he had 'upped his game' and praised the bravery of the two post office employees.

Balbir Singh, defending, said his partner had split from him because of his gambling addiction and that he had become depressed and had started to take drugs.

"He is full of regret and remorse and his embarrassed and ashamed of having put his family through this ."
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