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Gunpoint robber must come out of prison a better man'

PUBLISHED: 16:01 28 January 2009 | UPDATED: 16:06 25 August 2010

A POST office manager robbed at gunpoint says he hopes the jailed robber learns to become a 'better man'.

A POST office manager robbed at gunpoint says he hopes the jailed robber learns to become a 'better man'.

Gerrald Nkrumah, 33, of no fixed address, was jailed for seven-and-a-half years last Friday at the Inner London Crown Court after pleading guilty to robbery and possessing an imitation firearm.

He burst into the post office in Wrotham Road, Welling, with an accomplice, on March 20 last year and grabbed Jayshree Patel threatening to shoot her.

Her husband Vinitt Patel grabbed the robber after he stole cash from the safe and was pushed away leaving him with a head injury.

When the Times told him the gunman's sentence the shopkeeper gave a surprised gasp saying: "Is that all?

"I thought gun crimes got harsher sentences."

Judge John Wakefield said the sentence given was lenient because Nkrumah had pleaded guilty at the first instance.

Mr Patel who has worked at the shop for 20 years said:

"Let's hope he comes out a better and more grown up man.

"I hope he learns from this. There is a better way to make a living.

"It was a horrible incident. I wish that he didn't hurt me. I had a bump on my forehead. I went to get them money back from him. It happened quickly.

"If something is yours you will try and get it back. I know it is the Post Office's money but I am the one who is responsible for it."

The father-of-two sons said the memories came flooding back when the couple heard about the killing of Craig Hodson-Walker, 29, in a raid on a post office in Fairfield, Worcestershire, on January 9 this year.

He said: "All I can say is that we are alive.

"We never thought somebody was going to be killed just for the money but these days anything can happen.

"We coped well. We had a lot of support from family and friends.

"The children from the school opposite sent us a beautiful card. We are still working in the shop and we have a lot of people who were worried about us."

marina.soteriou@archant.co.uk

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