Woman, 82, suffered broken pelvis in terrifying Sheffield PO robbery

Jason Bell was jailed for 11 years
Jason Bell was jailed for 11 years
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Two masked robbers armed with a gun and sledgehammer broke an 82-year-old woman’s pelvis and violently attacked her husband and son during a terrifying post office raid.

Jason Bell and David Layne burst into Thorpe House Post Office, Norton Lees, Sheffield, and attacked the postmaster and his elderly parents.

David Layne was jailed for seven-and-a-half years

David Layne was jailed for seven-and-a-half years

Sheffield Crown Court heard Hazel May, 82, was pushed to the floor and suffered a fractured pelvis, while her husband Richard, 79, and son Peter, 52, were violently attacked.

Bell, of no fixed address, was jailed for 11 years and Layne, of Fawcett Street, Netherthorpe, for seven-and-a-half.

Prosecutor Denise Breen-Lawton said the family were closing the store shortly after 5pm on February 14, 2014, when Bell and Layne burst in.

She said: “Bell pointed the gun towards staff and demanded money. Both jumped over the newsagents counter trying to get into the post office side.

“Layne pushed Hazel May and she fell onto the floor fracturing her pelvis.

“Both tried to pull the till from the counter.

“Peter May and Richard May confronted them and tried to restrain them. There was a violent struggle and both men were subjected to considerable violence.

“Bell pointed the gun at them and said he would shoot them. Members of the public gathered outside and held the door so they couldn’t escape.”

Bell fled empty handed while Layne was pinned to the floor and arrested by police.

The court was played CCTV of the ordeal and heard how the robbery had impacted on the victims.

Mrs May still suffers physically and mentally while a man, who was with his 13-year-old son and held the door closed, thought he was going to die when Bell pointed a gun at him and threatened to shoot him.

The court heard Bell was also involved in an armed robbery at Coral Bookmakers on Hoyland Road, Barnsley, on December 9, 2013.

Miss Breen-Lawton said Bell entered the shop wearing a balaclava and carrying a handgun with another man, who has not been identified. Inside were two female members of staff and a male customer.

She said: “Bell approached the counter with the gun and jumped over the counter shouting ‘give us the money’.”

Staff opened the safe and the pair fled with £971.

Bell was arrested after his DNA was discovered on a discarded balaclava – the same one worn by Layne in the post office robbery.

Bell pleaded guilty to two counts of robbery and two offences of possession of an imitation firearm, while Layne admitted robbery and possession of a imitation firearm.

Det Con Matt Williams said: “I hope the significant sentences handed to Bell and Layne offer some reassurance to the local communities that these two are off the streets.

“The victims at the Thorpe House Post Office were exceptionally brave, tackling Layne and holding him until police arrived to detain him. Their selfless act has played a major part in putting these men behind bars and we commend them for their courage.”