Masked thief Ross jailed for 7 years

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A SERIAL burglar from Gainsborough has been jailed after being found guilty of a masked robbery at a post office.

Lee Ross was jailed for seven years at Lincoln Crown Court for committing a robbery at a Blyton sub-post office last January.

The court heard the 37-year-old heroin addict confess to 15 other burglaries in the Gainsborough area – whilst he was out on police bail.

But Ross denied his part in the Blyton Post Office robbery where thieves made off with £9,900.

He claimed that he was waiting in the back of the getaway vehicle in Northorpe under the impression that he was there to sell the van.

The Honourable Judge Heath called this “a cock and bull story”.

The total value of thefts from Ross’s other burglaries came to over £24,000.

Just two days after the robbery, police searched the last known address of Ross, on Linden Terrace, where £2,500 was found under the floorboards in a bedroom.

Forensic tests found Ross’s fingerprints and those of the sub-postmaster on the cash. Ross was accused of being one of two men who robbed the post office, where thieves in balaclavas armed with pepper spray stole just under £10,000 from the threatened sub-postmaster Richard Haley. The court heard Mr Haley was severely distressed and haunted by the whole experience.

On the morning of the robbery, Ross said he had been injecting heroin and was “out of his head”.

“I’m a smackhead, I’ve been on gear for 17 years. I don’t profess to be a saint,” he said. “I nick scrap metal, but I’m not a robber and I’m not violent.”

Ross claimed that he was reading the Daily Mail in his van in Northorpe while the robbery took place, awaiting the two men who he believed were coming to buy his van before they told him to sit in the back as they made a getaway. Ross said he feared that the robbers would hurt his family if he went to the police. Michael Cranmer-Brown, prosecuting, said that Ross’s story was ‘palpable nonsense’.

Judge Heath sentenced Ross to seven years, saying: “The way in which this has impacted on the sub-postmaster is plain.”

Ross asked for 15 burglaries to be taken into consideration. They included burglaries on: Clifton Terrace, Linden Terrace, Corringham Road, Bells Newsagents, the foundry yard on Bridge Street, the White Horse pub, Martin’s newsagents, Beds Direct, Lord’s public house and the Plough public house.

After the trial DC David Moxham said: “This was an extremely nasty incident. This sentence is good news for that person and the wider community. We want to thank the Northorpe residents who told us about the offenders swapping vehicles and the fantastic actions of the Cleatham resident who jotted down the registration of the van they were using when she saw them throw the post office security box out of the window.”