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Armed robber threatened Oaksey Post Office workers with gun and hammer, jury hears

19 Oct 2016, 13:22 ... ury_hears/

AN armed robber threatened a village postmistress with a gun and a hammer while his mate waited outside behind the wheel of the getaway car, a jury has been told.

Kieren Wheeler was in a Renault Clio outside Oaksey Post Office, near Malmesbury, while his mate Zak Bradbury carried out the early morning raid.

But the 19-year-old driver, from Pinehurst, Swindon, insists he had no idea what his friend was up to when he drove him to the store at 7.30am on Wednesday, May 18.

He says he had the gun put to his head and told to drive away after the 21-year-old ran from the shop with more than £1,000 in cash and cigarettes.

Hannah Squire, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court how Wheeler drove from the scene with wheels screeching while the victim noted down the number plate.

When the car was spotted soon after on the A4 near Chippenham police followed as it went to The Knapp, Calne, where his brother lived with his girlfriend and baby.

Officers then waited outside Pym House, only swooping when the men left having arranged a lift to Swindon from Wheeler's sister-in-law's mum, the court heard.

Miss Squire said that by the time they were arrested the pair had changed their clothes and the money had already been split in two.

At an earlier hearing Bradbury, of no fixed abode, admitted robbery, possessing an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence and having a knife.

Wheeler, of Magnolia Court, Pinehurst, Swindon, pleaded not guilty to the charges and is standing trial.

Miss Squire said: “The defence case was he had no idea his friend Zak Bradbury was going to commit a robbery until he got in to the car and put the gun to his head and said 'drive'.

“The prosecution case is: it is nonsense, he knew exactly what Zak was up to hence he drove him to Oaksey in the morning.

“After he drove at speed to change the clothing and change the car. When the police arrived each robber having almost the same amount of money.”

The jury heard from Wheeler's sister in law, Charlotte Brown, who sobbed as she told how the lads turned up at her flat at about 8.30am

She said clothes, footwear, and a rucksack used in the raid was left in her flat and that Wheeler, who she had known since he was toddler, had a shower while he was there.

After washing she said he emerged in a red tracksuit which she had never seen before and the lads had asked if she could get someone to give them a life to Swindon.

As her mum Rachel was about to take her daughter to see her mother in law she got her to take them, adding Bradbury had offered petrol money.

Earlier the jury was told that when the police moved in the imitation handgun Bradbury had used fell from his tracksuit trousers.

He also had £450 in notes on him while a roll of £430 was found in the car where he and Wheeler had been sitting.

The case continues.

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