Post master denies faking robberies
A SUFFOLK post office manager accused of stealing more than £26,000 from the Post Office has denied faking two raids at his premises.Graham Westley told a jury at Ipswich Crown Court that on May 23 last year he had been tied up with tape by two intruders, who got away with £14,053 from a safe.
A SUFFOLK post office manager accused of stealing more than £26,000 from the Post Office has denied faking two raids at his premises.
Graham Westley told a jury at Ipswich Crown Court that on May 23 last year he had been tied up with tape by two intruders, who got away with £14,053 from a safe.
He also claimed that five months later burglars forced their way into the Post Office, at Hacheston near Woodbridge, while the premises were closed and had stolen £12,750.
Westley, 40, said he had made statements to the police after both raids with the aim of helping the police catch the culprits.
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Westley who was living at Great Glemham, but now lives in Church Road, Wicken, near Ely, has denied stealing sums of £14,053 and £12,750 from the Post Office and two offences of trying to pervert the course of justice by allegedly lying to the police about the two raids.
Charles Kellett, prosecuting, has claimed that at the time of the alleged offences Westley owed Customs and Excise £18,000 and was facing bankruptcy.
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He said that forensic scientists who examined a metal grill cut open by the alleged burglars had found conclusive evidence that it had been cut with a pair of bolt cutters recovered from Westley's garage.
Giving evidence yesterday, Westley said that prior to taking over the Post Office and general stores at Hacheston in the Autumn of 2002 he and his partner had run a pub in Framlingham.
He had got into debt while running the pub and owed more than £20,000 in total.
Although he had been threatened with bankruptcy he had not been made bankrupt and it had been discovered that he didn't owe Customs and Excise nearly as much money as he thought he did.
In reply to a question from his counsel Ian James, Westley said that none of his debts had been reduced by substantial cash payments.
Westley said that he didn't know anything about a pair of red bolt cutters found by police in his garage.
He said he had bought a pair of red bolt cutters from a car boot sale to cut wire for a goat run.
However, he claimed the bolt cutters found by police in his garage were a different size to the ones he had got from the car boot sale.
In an interview with the police read to the court yesterday, Westley denied having anything to do with the raids at the Post Office. "I've done my job to the best of my ability," he said.
"I didn't take the money and I don't know who did."
"I'm an honest person. I'm not a thief," he added.
The trial continues today (Thu).