A MASKED raider who brought terror to a couple running a village post office, has been jailed for nine years.

Micah Buckle, 25, had been armed with a sledge hammer when he and an accomplice burst into the Edenfield Post Office, at closing time, last November 25.

In the frightening four minutes that followed, sub post mistress Margaret Filkins, 64, who has osteoporosis, was grabbed by the throat and her 69-year-old partner, Gordon Worth, who suffers a heart condition, was attacked twice and left bleeding by the accomplice.

About £1,650 was stolen, Burnley Crown Court heard.

Ms Filkins, who had been behind the counter and had not known if her partner was dead or alive after he was knocked to the floor, had desperately thrown cash at the accomplice to try and stop the onslaught.

Buckle stood by Mr Worth with the sledge hammer to prevent him from moving and to intimidate him. Mr Worth was to tell police he felt inadequate because he had been unable to protect his partner.

Buckle had two previous convictions for robbery, including a knife-point convenience shop raid.

He ran off when police, alerted by a cool-headed and quick thinking member of the public, arrived, but was soon arrested.

Buckle, of Smedley Street, Cheetham Hill, admitted two counts of robbery. He was given five years extended licence.

Sentencing him, Judge Graham Knowles, QC, ruled he was dangerous. He said the attack on the post office had been carefully planned and deliberately timed for when it was dark and there would be no customers in the shop.

For Buckle, Adrian Palmer said the offence was awful and heinous. He went on: “One can only imagine the fear that was going through the minds of the victims.”

After the case Ms Filkins said: “Since the attack we have been more wary, it makes you look at people differently.

“But we are not going to let them win though, we love the job, love the people and love the area and we aren’t going to give it up and be intimidated by what has happened.

“We’ve had an awful lot of support from our neighbours and it is wonderful to know we have that support.”

It is the third time the Edenfield Post Office has been raided since Margaret and Gordon took over 17 years ago.