Suspended sentence for knife-wielding intruder

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A postmaster and one of his customers suffered cuts to their hands as they disarmed a knife-wielding intruder.

Bradford Crown Court heard today (FRI) how postmaster Anthony Spink and customer Geoff Scott grappled with Ben Jackson after he barged into Heptonstall post office at closing time and demanded cash.

Jackson, 28, of Avison Road, Huddersfield, had spent most of the day outside the Towngate premises before attempting to rob the post office, but he eventually fled empty-handed.

The court heard that Jackson had no previous convictions and he claimed that he had the knife with him on June 7 because he was depressed and intended to take his own life.

Judge Peter Benson said whether that was right or not it had been a very serious offence.

The judge noted however that the attempted robbery which Jackson had admitted was ‘’wholly out of character’’ and he had spent more than three months in custody since his arrest in August.

‘’While a custodial sentence of some length is inevitable I am prepared to suspend it,’’ said Judge Benson.

It is understood that neither Mr Spink nor Mr Scott required medical treatment for their injuries, but the postmaster later said the two-minute incident had been a very frightening experience.

Judge Benson suspended Jackson’s 18-month prison sentence for two years and he will also have to do 200 hours unpaid work for the community.

Jackson will also be supervised by the probation service for 12 months and take part in a high level activity programme for 50 days.