Sheffield postal worker in fight for justice after armed robbery

John Shelley.
John Shelley.
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A Sheffield postal worker trapped in a van while his colleague was shot is fighting for justice – three years after the robbery.

John Shelley, from Chapeltown, has been left traumatised by the incident which happened while he and his colleague were delivering cash to Sherwood Rise Post Office in Nottingham in October 2010.

John Shelley, of Chapletown, who is seeking compensation from the Post Office.

John Shelley, of Chapletown, who is seeking compensation from the Post Office.

John suffered post traumatic stress disorder following the ordeal and, unable to return to his regular duties, has been forced to take on another lesser-paid role working night shifts.

He is seeking compensation from his bosses at the Post Office as a result of the company’s alleged negligence.

John said he remained helpless locked inside the back of a Post Office van while his colleague, returning from a delivery with an empty cash tin, was chased by two men and threatened with a knife before being shot.

John, aged 43, said: “All I could do was set off the alarm to alert the authorities we were under attack.

“We were both screaming. It was horrific. Neither of us could open the door as raising the alarm had put the van on lock down.

“Then I heard a shot and for an instant I thought she was dead.”

His colleague had been shot in the leg and staggered for help, while John remained in the van for more than two hours waiting for Post Office staff to release him.

Eventually police officers ordered John to be released so he could help with the investigation.

He said he felt unsupported by his bosses and pressured to return to work.

After three months off, he was medically discharged and took another role within the Royal Mail.

John said: “Working nights has made it so much more difficult for me to see my kids and for them to stop over with me.

“I’m afraid to go out in large crowds and always have the sense of needing to look over my shoulder and I am constantly agitated.

“Even though it was not my fault, I feel angry, upset and guilty about what happened to my colleague – she could have died.”

He feels his ordeal has been made even worse by the fact that it could have been avoided.

There had been similar raids in the area, including one on another Post Office van, but managers offered him no advice or further training.

He also claims managers failed to supply information so he could pursue a claim through the Government’s criminal injuries compensation scheme.

Misty Cawley, a solicitor at Simpson Millar who has taken on the case, said: “John is traumatised as a result of this incident.

“We are claiming for the distress, injuries and consequential financial losses sustained as a result of the Post Office’s negligence. What is most saddening is this accident could have been avoided if appropriate action was taken.”

A Post Office spokesman said: “Post Office takes the safety and wellbeing of all of its employees seriously.

“We provide regular training for staff handling cash, which includes what to do in the event of criminal activity.

“We always seek to minimise any danger to staff, and support our employees following any such incidents.”