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Raid murder convictions

THREE men, two of whom lived locally, have been convicted of murdering a sub-postmaster ‘s son during an armed robbery at a Worcestershire Post Office.

THREE men, two of whom lived locally, have been convicted of murdering a sub-postmaster ‘s son during an armed robbery at a Worcestershire Post Office.

Declan Morrissey, 34, from Shirley, and younger brother Christopher, 32, from Sheldon, were convicted on Wednesday.

Along with Anselm Ribera, 34, from Druids Heath, the siblings were found guilty of murdering Craig Hodson-Walker.

The trio were also convicted of the attempted murder of Mr Hodson-Walker’s dad Ken.

A fourth man, Adrian Snape, was cleared of both charges - although he’d already pleaded guilty to attempted robbery, admitting he was the gang’s getaway driver.

Prosecutors told how Mr Hodson-Walker had been gunned down by the robbers earlier this year.

They had targeted the Post Office, in the small village of Fairfield, on the morning of January 9.

Snape had waited outside, while Ribera and the Morrissey brothers stormed into the rural shop.

The trio, who were armed with a pistol and sledgehammer, had demanded cash and keys.

But the court heard that the robbery had been “in vain”, since the Post Office safe was on a time lock and could not be opened before 9am.

It was at this point that Mr Hodson-Walker had run to his father’s aid, clutching a cricket bat.

The 29-year-old was shot through the heart and his mum, Judy, was left to cradle his body, once the killers had fled.

His dad Ken, who had been shot in the leg in the raid, had to be rushed to hospital for emergency surgery.

Arrests were made within weeks and the trial began at Birmingham Crown Court in October.

In a statement, Judy and Ken said: “Although we are happy with the verdicts and pleased that justice has been done, the punishment for these mindless dregs, who murdered Craig, will never equal the pain they have caused us.”

All four defendants will be sentenced today (Friday).

 

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Annette Belcher
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