Page last updated at 16:45 GMT, Friday, 18 December 2009

Murder raid trio jailed for life

Anselm Ribera, Declan Morrissey and Christopher Morrissey
The three men were convicted on Wednesday

Three men have been jailed for life for murdering a sub-postmaster's son during an armed raid in Worcestershire.

Craig Hodson-Walker, 29, was shot in the chest at Fairfield Post Office on 9 January.

Anselm Ribera, 34, and Christopher Morrissey, 32, of Birmingham, and Declan Morrissey, 34, of Solihull, have been jailed for at least 34 years each.

Sentencing the men at Birmingham Crown Court, Mr Justice Colman Treacy said they were "parasitic criminals".

The three men were also given 34-year jail terms for attempting to murder Mr Hodson-Walker's father Ken, who was shot in the leg.

Their sentences will run concurrently with their jail terms for murder.

A fourth defendant, getaway driver Adrian Snape, 25, of Camelot Way, Small Heath, Birmingham, who admitted attempted robbery, was sentenced to eight years in prison.

He was cleared of all other charges.

Judge 'shocked'

Craig Hodson-Walker was shot through the heart as he tried to defend his parents from the masked raiders who broke into the family's post office and general store at about 0820 GMT.

Craig Hodson-Walker
They have shown no remorse, no shame and no contrition
Mr Justice Treacy

During the 10-week trial, the jury was shown CCTV footage of the moment the 29-year-old was shot.

Sentencing the men, Mr Justice Treacy said: "The crimes committed at Fairfield post office on the morning of January 9 were wicked and ruthless.

"Even after many years in law, I confess that on first seeing the CCTV of the murderous raid, I was shocked by what I saw."

He said he would order anyone considering the release of the three men to view the footage as part of their decision.

"I regard each of them as a real danger to the public," he said.

The court had head how the men demanded cash and keys from Ken Hodson-Walker, who was working behind the counter, but the safe, containing about £20,000, was on a time lock and could not be opened before 0900 GMT.

The parents of Craig Hodson-Walker said he had been incredibly brave

After shooting Craig Hodson-Walker the trio attacked his father.

The three men did not appear in court for the sentencing, which the judge said had been their own choice and was "no surprise to this court".

"They have shown no remorse, no shame and no contrition throughout these proceedings," he said.

"They appeared indifferent to the dreadful crime that they have committed and the consequences for their innocent victims.

"While such attitudes persist in three men who have led a life of crime, their prospects of release at any point in the future are slim."

The judge said the effect of the raiders' actions had been "catastrophic" to Craig Hodson-Walker's fiancee Lisa Bundy and the Hodson-Walker family, who are originally from south Wales and who moved to Worcestershire five years ago from Lydbrook, in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire.

"Unlike the violent parasitic criminals that these three are, the Hodson-Walkers were a hard-working, respectable family providing a valuable service to their local community," he said.

"They have had great and lasting grief brought into their lives."

Ribera of Topfield House, Druids Heath, was also sentenced to 21 years for attempted robbery and 21 years for possession of a firearm and ammunition with intent to endanger life.

Christopher Morrissey, of Elmay Road, Sheldon, and his brother Declan Morrissey, of Shirley Park Road, were given the same sentences as well as eight years for the robbery of the getaway car.

The sentences will run concurrently with their other jail terms.

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FROM OTHER NEWS SITES Postmaster's killers get 34 years - PA - 39 hrs ago
Sky News Post Office Murder Gang Jailed For Life - 46 hrs ago
Reuters UK Men get life for postmaster murder - 47 hrs ago
Times Online Raiders who killed hero son get 34 years jail - 48 hrs ago
Telegraph Men who murdered sub-postmaster jailed for life - 50 hrs ago

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