A not so good Samaritan who helped to catch a Post Office robber went on to steal almost £800 of the loot. Cameron McLeod acted like a hero when he and another person grabbed Shaun Dennis, who was armed with a knife and had robbed Owton Manor West Post Office in Hartlepool. But McLeod, 29, was later arrested himself after it emerged he had stuffed £780 of the stolen cash into his own pockets after it fell on the floor during the confusion. The botched robbery by Dennis, 34, who was later jailed for six years, happened at about 2.30pm on August 7 at the combined Post Office and Nisa store, in Owton Manor Lane. Dennis threatened a shop worker at the counter with a kitchen knife and filled a bag with money. But quick-thinking staff rolled the shutters down trapping the robber inside. He proceeded to smash through a glass pane in the door and crawl outside where he was stopped in his tracks by members of the public including McLeod.
Prosecutor Paula Sanderson told Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court: “Thanks
to the defendant’s behavior the person involved in this very serious offense was detained but after the heat died down in relation to the
robbery the other person assisting in the detention of the robber then
approached police and said the person took some of the money as well.
Some of the money dropped by the robber the defendant gathered up and
kept for himself.” Police went to McLeod’s home and found the money
stashed inside someone else’s shoe. Ms Sanderson added: “Finger prints
belonging to the defendant were found on the money.” McLeod told police
he had been at a cash point when he saw the robbery taking place and
helped catch him but went on to admit he had done “a stupid thing” in
the spur of the moment and pocket some of the cash.”
He blamed it on going through hard financial times and claimed others had done the same thing.
John Relton, mitigating, quoted from a statement from the store which said: “I can’t understand why someone can be so silly in taking money from a robber that he has helped detain. This
has just tarnished the excellent work he has done, it’s such a shame.”
Mr Relton said: “I don’t think I can better those sentiments. He is
doing his best to put this error of judgement behind him. It goes
without saying he is certainly remorseful for his actions.” McLeod, of
Jedburgh Road, Hartlepool, admitted theft by finding. Magistrates gave
him a four-week curfew between 7pm and 7am and ordered him to pay £85
prosecution costs, a £60 victim surcharge and £180 court charge.