A man who threatened staff with a handgun during an armed robbery at a post office in Banstead in December 2018 has been sent to prison for 12 years.
Lewis Vivian, 53, of Stafford Road, Wallington, was sentenced after being found guilty of the robbery at Guildford Crown Court yesterday (20 May).
A member of staff at the family-run post office in Woodmansterne Road was getting ready to close the shop just before 9pm on 12 December when he was confronted by Vivian, who had jumped on the counter and was demanding money. Vivian then threatened the staff member with a handgun before stealing over £2,000 in cash.
Vivian was arrested after CCTV images from the shop were circulated in the media and he was identified by two officers from the Metropolitan Police, who contacted Surrey Police independently of each other. Phone data obtained from Vivian showed that he had been in the area at the time of the offence, and he was arrested on 5 January 2019.
A search of his home address later uncovered a handgun matching the description given by the member of staff which was used during the robbery.
Detective Constable Martin O’Neill, who investigated the incident, said: “Fortunately, no one was injured during the robbery but this was a terrifying ordeal for the family who run the post office and one which will haunt them for the rest of their lives. I would like to praise them for their immense bravery in coming forward and giving evidence, and hope that the sentence given to Vivian will help them come to terms with their ordeal.
“The sentence given to Vivian should also serve as a warning to anyone else planning on coming to Surrey and committing a crime that this will not be tolerated, and we will do everything in our power to ensure that if you do, you will be identified and brought before the courts.”