Couple who ran raided Post Office told to repay stolen £6,000

Last updated at 23:57 06 January 2008

A couple who run a village post office targeted by masked raiders have spoken of their despair after being asked by bosses to repay most of the stolen money themselves.

The Post Office claim subpostmaster Lesley Pearsall, 61, and husband Trevor, 60, failed to take adequate security measures at their Cheswick Green branch near Solihull, West Midlands, in the run-up to the robbery last September.

The two raiders broke through security glass with a sledgehammer and made off with £9,781.

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The Pearsalls - along with Mr Pearsall's 81-year-old sister - managed to lock themselves in the branch's stock room and call police. Although one man has already been jailed for seven years for the robbery, none of the cash was ever recovered.

Now the Pearsalls are being held liable for £6,000, with the Post Office saying excess cash was held on the counter, while two giro deposits worth £3,462 should have been secured in the safe.

They have been ordered to pay back the cash by today, but plan to appeal the ruling.

Mother-of-three Mrs Pearsall, who has worked for the Post Office since 1970, said: "I feel totally betrayed by what has happened. I haven't got £6,000 to pay them. We are living on the breadline at the moment."