A FATHER has been jailed for 18 years after he and his teenage son carried out an armed robbery at a post office dressed as women.
Martin Pick was sitting in a wheelchair wearing a long black wig and hat when he was pulled backwards into Boston Spa post office in Yorkshire by his 17-year-old son Declan also disguised as a woman including a red wig.
Leeds Crown Court heard today as the chair was turned to face sub postmaster Anthony Williams, Martin Pick produced a shotgun from under the blanket covering him in the chair, jumped up and began brandishing it.
Mr Williams had already realised something was wrong and sent his son Michael upstairs to raise the alarm as well as pressing the panic button but was then confronted by both Picks jumping on to the counter by then Declan was holding a handgun.
Martin Pick was shouting “Give us your money, where’s the money?"
Kirstie Watson prosecuting told the court Pick began searching through metal drawers below the counter and pressed the till release button and began removing cash from it and stuffing it into a woman’s bag brought with them.
Miss Watson said the robber with the handgun appeared to be panicking. She said: “Mr Williams then heard a distinctive noise of the air release, which sounded like the trigger had been pulled.”
Nothing was discharged from the weapon and outside members of the public alerted about the robbery intervened. One elderly gentleman tried to hold the door to stop them getting out but eventually let go but managed to grab one of the wigs as they ran by.
The robbers headed for their getaway car a stolen Nissan driven by Martin Pick’s brother Mark.
But Miss Watson said Mr Williams chased after the robbers and grabbed Martin Pick before he got into the car and they fell to the ground struggling.
Pick then produced a crowbar and began to strike the sub-postmaster on the back of his head with it.
At that point a female member of the public grabbed hold of the crowbar. Mr Williams then pulled the robber’s coat over his head and other members of the public went to his aid.
The court heard the getaway car, which had driven off after Declan got into it, was reversed back up the street. He then got out brandishing the imitation shotgun and fired it.
Mr Williams and his helpers let go of Martin Pick and the car was driven off at speed and later set on fire and abandoned. But the court heard the money was left at the scene along with two wigs and a pair of sunglasses which linked the raiders through DNA.
Martin Pick, 38 of Willow Avenue, Clifford, Wetherby admitted robbery, having a firearm with criminal intent and handling a stolen phone. The court heard he was also on bail at the time of the robbery for dangerous driving following a police chase, which he also admitted and for which he was disqualified from driving for two years.
Jailing him for a total of 18 years with five years extended licence, Judge Tom Bayliss QC, said: “This was a carefully planned, ruthless and violent robbery for a substantial gain. You were only foiled because of the pluck of those bystanders who became involved and the pluck of Mr Williams.”
He said it was clear the villagers of Boston Spa and Mr Williams were determined to “thwart your criminal enterprise. They were determined not to let you get away with it.”
The judge said Mr Williams had hospital treatment for his head injury inflicted by the crowbar and still suffers dizzy spells and loses concentration.
He has put the post office business up for sale since.
Mark Pick, 42 of Lea Farm Road, Leeds was jailed for 16 years. A jury last month found him guilty of the robbery and having a firearm. They also convicted Declan Pick, now 18 of Esthwaite Gardens, Halton Moor of the same offences. He will be sentenced on Friday.