A man who robbed a village post office at knifepoint has been jailed for 44 months.
Matthew Stepp, aged 37, of no fixed abode, Swindon, pleaded guilty to robbery and possession of a bladed article in a public place at Swindon Crown Court on 14 December.
At approximately 4.30pm on 14 November, Stepp entered the Post Office in Aldbourne with a knife in one hand and a bag in the other. He asked the female shop assistant to hand over the contents of the till.
The woman handed the money over to the man and he left the scene quickly.
Staff from the shop took a detailed description of the man, with one chasing after him before he too was threatened by Stepp.
Sgt Pete Foster said: “Officers attended the scene and, thanks to the detailed descriptions given by those at the Post Office, were able to identify and arrest him within 24 hours.
“The Post Office is at the heart of this small village community and this incident no doubt shocked those living and working there.
“The member of staff working behind the till at the time was understandably upset, shaken and extremely scared by Stepp’s actions and threatening behaviour – it is totally unacceptable to carry a weapon in a public place at any time and doing so is a criminal offence.
“Following the robbery, Stepp quickly left the scene and used the money he had stolen to pay off debts and buy drugs. He was found in possession of six wraps of crack cocaine and he pleaded guilty to this offence when he appeared in court on Friday.
“I’d like to praise the officers involved who were able to carry out a swift arrest and put Stepp before the courts.”
As well as the 44 months imprisonment, Stepp must also pay a victim surcharge of £170.