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Billy Williams of New Romney has jailed sentence increased from four to six years for robbery of St Mary's Bay Post Office

By Express reporter

A robber who raided the same post office twice has had his jail sentence increased by a court.

Billy Williams, 22, pleaded guilty in October to robbery and possession of an imitation firearm with intent at St Mary's Bay post office on Romney Marsh - which he had also targeted in 2010.

Mr Recorder Wallis, sitting at Canterbury Crown Court, had sentenced him to four years’ imprisonment with an extended licence period of three years. That sentence has now been quashed by the Court of Appeal and replaced with six years’ imprisonment with the same licence period.

The case had been referred by the Solicitor General, Robert Buckland as being "unduly lenient".

In February this year a woman was working on her own in a post office in St. Mary’s Bay.

Shortly after 9.30am, Williams entered the shop, followed by a second man.

Williams, formerly of St Martin’s Road, New Romney, ran through the door between the shop floor and the post office and shouted, “I want the money… open the safe”.

Williams had a handgun in his left hand which he used to point at the safe and said, "open it”. The victim did as she was told.

"When you’re staring down the barrel of a gun, the last thing on your mind is whether or not it is the real thing..." - Solicitor General Robert Buckland QC MP

Williams told her that she would not be hurt if she did as she was told. Once the safe was open, Williams stepped forward and grabbed the cash and stamps that were inside.

In total the robbers stole £10,780 in cash and £2,565 in stamps. 

He asked if there was any more money and, when she explained that there was none, he told her to “come with me”. The victim believed that she was about to be locked in the toilet. 

Eventually the two robbers got into a dark Ford Escort and drove off. The vehicle was later found by the police partially burnt out. 

Speaking after the latest hearing, the Solicitor General, Robert Buckland QC MP, who referred the case said: “I asked the Court of Appeal to look again at this unduly lenient sentence as I believed that four years jail term failed to reflect the seriousness of the offence and the fact that this man threatened an innocent woman with a gun while she was going about her daily work.

"When you’re staring down the barrel of a gun, the last thing on your mind is whether or not it is the real thing.

“Williams deliberately targeted the very same post office that he had robbed previously in 2010. He had been released from his seven year sentence for that crime only a few weeks before he committed this offence.

"I am pleased that the Court of Appeal has increased the sentence and I hope that this revised sentence of six years’ imprisonment brings a degree of comfort to the victim of this terrible crime.”

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