TWO men have finally admitted being responsible for a night-time burglary in which they escaped with more than £80,000 from a Stratford Post Office.
Mohammed Ahad and Omar Ahmed had originally pleaded not guilty at Warwick Crown Court to carrying out the burglary at the Post Office in Henley Street, Stratford, in January 2018.
But two days before Christmas, Ahad (24) of Milford Croft, Rowley Regis, Sandwell, West Midlands, pleaded guilty to his part in the raid, which netted £84,000 in cash.
He and Ahmed, who continued to deny the charge at that stage, had been due to stand trial at the court next month.
Judge Andrew Lockhart QC adjourned sentencing Ahad, who had previously admitted a further charge of fraud, until after Ahmed’s trial, and granted him bail.
But he warned: “This is obviously a case where there is going to be custody, and significant custody.”
And Judge Lockhart commented: “He has an option in the trial to give evidence and to tell the court what happened and who was involved.”
That has now proved unnecessary – because at a further hearing on January 8, Ahmed (25) of Southbank Road, Cradley Heath, also pleaded guilty to the charge.
A third defendant, Mohammed Hussain (25) of Station Road, Cradley Heath, is still due to stand trial next month on a charge of perverting the course of justice, which he has denied.
It is alleged he had asked people to provide false alibis for Ahad and Ahmed in the two weeks following their arrests.
Ordering a pre-sentence report on Ahmed, Judge Sylvia de Bertodano told him: “You will have to be sentenced. That will happen after the matter of Mr Hussain has been dealt with, so I expect you to be sentenced some time in February.”
She granted him bail with a condition that he co-operates with the preparation of the report, but stressed: “I am giving you no indication as to sentence. It may well be a custodial sentence.”
And Judge de Bertodano also ordered that Hussain’s case should be listed for a pre-trial hearing later this month.