Post Office worker foils sword robbery

The armed robbers fled on bicycles
The armed robbers fled on bicycles
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A POST Office worker has told how he wrenched a Samurai sword from a masked intruder and fended off two raiders as he tried to foil a daylight robbery in Livingston.

Aiden Gilani came under attack last May when armed robbers stormed the Knightsridge Post Office, in Cameron Way, wielding a 20-inch blade and demanding cash.

They instructed the 25-year-old to lie flat on the ground as they emptied the safe all the while screaming he would be killed if he didn’t obey orders.

But Mr Gilani seized his moment when one became distracted and snatched the weapon before launching an effective counter attack.

The two robbers were injured in the melee and shed £14,000 of loot as they beat a hasty retreat before fleeing on bicycles.

Francis McLean, 50, and Valene Brown, 21, admitted assault and robbery at the Livingston Post Office on May 24 when they appeared at the High Court in Glasgow yesterday.

They now face a lengthy jail-term when they return to the dock next month.

“I was hit from behind, I think by the handle, but it’s all a bit confusing,” said Mr Gilani, who continues to work in the shop.

“The whole ordeal lasted for about 15 minutes and I spent about half that time on the ground. I was shocked and I felt threatened and a bit worried.

“But I was able to get [the weapon] out of his hand when he was talking to the other person. I just took it off him and began swinging it and hit them a few times. I can’t remember where it struck them but they dropped some of the money and I gathered up as much as I could.”

McLean and Brown were caught on CCTV fleeing on their bikes, but their DNA was discovered on items left at the scene and they were soon caught.

The court heard how McLean, of Erskine Way, Livingston, screamed at Mr Gilani that he would kill him if he did not sit still.

McLean then passed bank notes from the safe to Brown before Mr Gilani began to struggle with them.

Mr Gilani did not require a doctor, but both McLean and Brown were injured.

The court heard £16,270 had been removed from the safe, but £14,000 of that sum was dropped by the robbers at the post office.

Police were given the sword which Mr Gilani had kept. DNA was recovered from the weapon and from a hat left at the scene.

Judge Lord Hardie yesterday remanded the duo in custody and deferred sentencing until October 17 at the High Court in Edinburgh.

david.mccann@edinburghnews.com