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Robber used hand drill as fake gun in incident that terrified 75-year-old postmistress

PUBLISHED: 16:34 05 March 2018 | UPDATED: 16:34 05 March 2018

Kevin Tunmore. who is accused of armed robbery. Pic: Norfolk Constabulary.

Kevin Tunmore. who is accused of armed robbery. Pic: Norfolk Constabulary.

Norfolk Constabulary

A terrified 75-year-old postmistress was threatened with a hand drill that she thought was a gun during a raid by two men on a rural post office, a court heard.

Surlingham Post Office. PIC: Peter Walsh.Surlingham Post Office. PIC: Peter Walsh.

The pair burst into Surlingham Post Office and repeatedly ordered the woman to open the till, forcing her to hand over £1,000 in cash and postal orders before they fled.

Kevin Tunmore, 36, appeared at Norwich Crown Court yesterday, charged with robbery and possessing an imitation firearm.

The court heard that a third man, Neil Chamberlain, 31, of Beechcroft Court, Cringleford, has already admitted his part in the robbery, as he acted as a lookout while the other two robbers went into the store.

Tunmore, of Low Common, Ashby St Mary, the only man to face trial, has pleaded not guilty to robbery and also denies possessing the imitation firearm.

John Morgans, prosecuting, said the three men involved used Chamberlain’s family car, a silver Vauxhall Corsa, to drive to the robbery and said they immediately stood out to villagers, and were spotted acting suspiciously.

“Anything out of the ordinary is noticed. It is clear these three men, these strangers, stuck out immediately upon arriving in the village.”

He said the jury would hear from villagers who noticed the three men around the time of the robbery and who later picked out Tunmore on an ID parade as being one of the robbers.

One man even used his computer to make his own ID of the man he saw, which he handed in to police.

“He was able to replicate and put together a picture of the person he had seen and in due course went on to identify this defendant.”

He said Tunmore was arrested five days later hiding at Chamberlain’s home, at Cringleford, and recovered from the Corsa was a black hand drill, which was believed to have been used as the imitation firearm, along with postal orders taken in the raid.

When Tunmore’s phone was seized it was found that he had searched on his phone for the opening hours of Surlingham post office about half an hour before the raid.

He said signals from his mobile also showed that he was in the area of the post office at the time of the robbery.

The trial continues.

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