Former postman jailed for armed bookies raid
Jun 18 2009 by Rob Kennedy, Evening Chronicle
A FORMER postman is behind bars after staging a terrifying armed raid at a Tyneside bookies.
Masked Colin Campbell went into the bookmakers in Wallsend brandishing a sledgehammer and demanding cash.
Terrified staff at William Hill fled into the toilets as Campbell smashed a glass screen and grabbed £445 from the till.
Now the 41-year-old former postie has been locked up for 12 months at Newcastle Crown Court after he admitted robbery.
Recorder William Lowe told him: “This is a very sad day for you. You must understand an offence of this kind normally attracts a prison sentence of five years or more.
“I’m conscious this is a lenient sentence, but in my judgement there are exceptional circumstances.”
Campbell, of Snowdon Gardens, Lobley Hill, Gateshead, struck at the bookies in November.
Two members of staff were in the shop when Campbell came in around 9pm on November 28.
He was caught when police found his DNA after he cut himself smashing the screen.
The court heard he had fallen on hard times and suffered from depression, and on the day of the raid had not taken his medication.
He claimed he did the robbery because he was ‘starving’.
Peter Schofield, defending, said: “It’s a personal tragedy that he finds himself at the crown court at his age.
“Three years ago he was in very respectable employment, working as a postman, and he worked hard.
“Ill heath caused him to lose that employment and he was living rough.
“On the day in question, he was simply starving and he had stopped taking his medication.”