Jail for East Dene post office raider scared off by hero neighbour

Jail for East Dene post office raider scared off by hero neighbour

By Michael Upton | 22/03/2022

Jail for East Dene post office raider scared off by hero neighbour

 

MASKED raiders who tried to hold up a post office were frightened off by a hero neighbour who gave chase, disarmed one of the criminals and ensured his accomplice was caught.

The have-a-go hero intervened after hearing cries for help from the Far Lane Post Office in East Dene, which had been targeted by “cowardly and callous” Melody Wolf (pictured) and a male accomplice who has never been identified.

After walking into the shop to find the owners pinned to the floor with two masked figures standing over them, the brave man shouted: “Get Out!”

He went outside to call for help and the raiders fled, Sheffield Crown Court heard, but the courageous man pursued them, first on foot and then in his van, cornering the culprits on a building site at The Lanes.

After struggling with the male robber, he managed to grab the screwdriver which had been used to threaten the shopkeepers.

The male criminal escaped, but Wolf was trapped on the construction site and was arrested.

The 31-year-old appeared before the Crown Court on Friday and was jailed for 43 months for her part in the raid last September.

Her barrister, Mr Clarkson Baptiste, admitted her actions had been “cowardly, callous and cruel” and said she was ashamed of her actions, which had been committed when she was under the influence of alcohol and drugs.

The court heard the attempted robbery had caused a “huge” impact to the victims, who were both injured, one seriously, and how the postmaster suffered nightmares and flashbacks.

Recorder Megan Rhys told Wolf: “This was a despicable offence committed against a couple who worked hard to earn an income and were providing a public service.

“You, on the other hand, decided to take the option of seeking to fund your habit by attempting to steal from them using weapons and violence.

“It must have been terrifying for the victims. They had done nothing to deserve what you did to them. In the words of your barrister, what you did was cowardly, callous and cruel.”

Wolf, of Birch Hill Avenue, Rotherham, and a masked man targeted the post office at 6.45am on September 27 last year, when the owners, who had run the business for 22 years, had just arrived.

The postmistress was pulled to the floor and dragged in front of the counter, injuring her knee, while her husband suffered a stab wound from the screwdriver and bruising to his back.

Despite demanding the couple's car keys, the culprits escaped empty-handed, having been disturbed by the neighbour.

The male robber escaped but Wolf was caught by the neighbour and another man.

In CCTV footage shown to the court, two black-clad figures, one wearing a hoodie and the other a mask, could be seen dragging the postmistress across the floor.

The postmistress told the court she had suffered serious ligament tears in her knee, which left her needing a brace, and she could no longer walk up and downstairs without pain.

“It’s changed my life from an active one where I ran my own business to needing assistance with everything,” she said.

“Our lives changed forever - we did not deserve this happening to us when we were just going about our daily business.”

The couple said they had also lost £20,000 on the sale of the post office as they were unable to complete paperwork in time.

Wolf admitted she had been under the influence of drugs at the time, the court heard.

Mr Baptiste said: “Melody Wolf acted in a cowardly, callous and cruel way and realises she has to pay the price.

“She was quite unwell mentally at the time of these events, which led her into the company of this man and led to her taking class A drugs, alcohol and other substances.

“She has realised the effect her actions had.

“That demonstrates real remorse and she’s deeply ashamed of what she did.”

The judge said Wolf had her “own vulnerabilities”, having been “a victim of others” and suffered from poor mental health and a long-standing drug addiction.

“I accept you have shown shame and remorse for this offence,” she said.

Wolf was sentenced to 43 months in prison for attempted robbery and six months, to concurrently, for possessing an offensive weapon.

She was also handed a week in prison, also concurrent, for failing to surrender to court in connection with a missed court appearance.