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Sunday, 23 November 2014

Post Office man coolly faced down armed gunman

The husband of a village sub-postmistress coolly faced down armed gunmen who tried to rob Broughton Post Office.

RELATED: Police release CCTV footage after armed gunmen raid

Two men, one brandishing a gun, raided the store while Malcolm Comloquoy-Spence, 56, was on duty.

Mr Comloquoy-Spence spoke yesterday for the first time about the incident, which happened at 6.45pm on Monday.

He was alone in the back room of the Main Road shop and post office, where his wife Carol is sub-postmistress, when he heard the door open.

He said: “Usually I would glance up at the monitor but for some reason I didn’t. I walked to the door leading into the shop and saw two men – one with a gun.

“My first thought was that this was a wind-up but I quickly realised it wasn’t.”

Mr Comoloquoy-Spence, a senior authorised person for Electricity North West, said he decided to stay still, say nothing and try to focus on the men and the scene, so that he would have a clear picture to give the police.

He said: “The man with the gun shouted a command but I did not move. I just stood there. I didn’t look him in the eye because that could have antagonised him. I just looked at the gun.

“The second man became restless and the one with the gun looked at him and I stepped sideways, back into the back room.

“I picked up a cricket bat. If he was going to come after me he would have his hand outstretched with the gun in it. My plan was to hit the gun out of his hand.”

The next thing he heard was the door bell chiming, and Mr Comoloquoy-Spence said he thought someone had come into the shop.

In fact, it was the men fleeing empty-handed.

He added: “In the end the whole incident took seconds.”

Mr Comloquoy-Spence gave police a detailed report of what had happened, but his reaction to the event set in afterwards.

“I didn’t get to sleep until the early hours of Tuesday and I have been having flashbacks, although they are getting better,” he said.

He added that the concern and kindness shown by staff and by customers had been overwhelming.

The post office was open as usual on Tuesday morning and will continue to open as normal, he added.

A manhunt for the gunmen is continuing.

One suspect was described as being between 5ft 10in and 6ft. He was wearing a black hooded top with a dark scarf around his face and light coloured trousers.

The other man was said to be between 5ft 8in and 5ft 10in and wearing dark clothes.

Police, including armed officers, cordoned off the store and launched a search of Great Broughton and surrounding fields.

Anyone with information should contact Workington CID on 0845 3300 247 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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