TWO men from Blandford have been jailed for armed robberies at two post offices in North Dorset and Somerset.

Andrew Hunt, 43, and Miles Halahan, 54, were convicted and sentenced at Bournemouth Crown Court for robbery at the Post Office in Milborne Port in Somerset and at the Post Office in Bishop’s Caundle.

Hunt was sentenced to a total of ten years in prison. He was handed down a sentence of four and a half years’ imprisonment for the first robbery and five and a half years’ imprisonment for the second.

He was also sentenced to four and a half years’ imprisonment and five and a half years’ imprisonment for firearms offences at each robbery respectively to run concurrently to the robbery sentences.

Halahan was found not guilty for the first robbery at Milborne Port, but was found guilty of robbery in Bishop’s Caundle and sentenced to seven years in jail.

The court heard that last year on Monday, July 15, Hunt entered the post offices with a hand gun, which is believed to be an air pistol, and demanded money.

At the post office in Milborne Port, Hunt was challenged by the post master and made off empty handed. In Bishops Caundle he was handed cash and escaped in a vehicle parked nearby.

The getaway car was owned and driven by Halahan. A witness to the second robbery noted the registration number of the vehicle which led to the arrest of both Hunt and Halahan a short time later on the same day.

Detective Constable Pete Gray, of Weymouth CID, said: “These crimes were distressing for the victims and caused a large amount of inconvenience. I commend the good witness accounts which helped to secure the arrests and convictions of both offenders.

“Thankfully crimes such as these are extremely unusual in Dorset. I hope the severity of these sentences will act as a strong deterrent to others.”