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Ex Leeds United footballer jailed for robbing Post Office in curly wig, fake beard and false teeth

19 Aug 2016, 18:06 ... ed-8665850?

Eder Ruiz, 25, who played for the West Yorkshire club's academy, also brandished an imitation handgun during the raid

A former Leeds United footballer has been jailed for five years after robbing a Post Office - wearing a curly wig and false teeth.

Eder Ruiz, 25, even used electrical tape to create a fake beard and moustache in a foolhardy bid to avoid being caught.

A court heard Ruiz entered the post office before collapsing on the floor, pretending to be ill in order to get Patricia Garforth, who runs the store with husband John, to come out from behind the counter.

As Mrs Garforth came to help the failed footballer he pushed her aside and pulled out a imitation handgun, which Bradford Crown Court , West Yorks, heard was probably a water pistol.

Ruiz then shouted: “Open the safe, open the safe.”


The Garforths bravely tried to stop Ruiz from taking cash from the till after he was told the safe was on a time-lock, but he still managed to flee with £1,800.

Mrs Garforth suffered a nasty bang to her arm and her husband cut his finger during the early morning raid that happened in Burley-in-Wharfedale, West Yorks, in May 2015.

Recorder Taryn Turner described it as “a well thought out and planned attack”.

Although hapless Ruiz was wearing gloves during he raid, he dropped a newspaper that had his fingerprints on it.

His mobile phone records also proved he had been in the village an hour before the crime was committed.

Ruiz denied robbery and possession of an imitation firearm, but jurors took less than an hour to find him guilty.

Ruiz, from Manchester, had played for Leeds United’s youth team but had been let go by the club at a young age.

Paul Hodgkinson, mitigating, said his client’s adult life had been “clouded” by this disappointment.

Ruiz, a business management student at Manchester University , was still playing semi-professional football, Mr Hodgkinson added.

The court heard Ruiz had been heavily in debt at the time of the robbery and had received numerous phone calls demanded repayments when he committed the crime out of desperation.

Ruiz was jailed for four years for robbery and for an additional year for possession of an imitation firearm.

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