PEOPLE in Potterne have been shocked and angered after two teenagers who carried out an armed raid on the post office were released with just a caution.
Just before 5pm on February 3, two people went into the shop in the High Street, pointed guns through the grille at postmistress June Boyack and demanded £2,000.
When Mrs Boyack refused, the robbers reduced their demand to £20, which Mrs Boyack handed over.
Two 17-year-old boys were arrested, on suspicion of robbery, and two replica handguns – one a ball-bearing gun, the other a plastic toy – were recovered.
It was revealed this week that the teenagers were given a youth conditional caution, by which culprits avoid going to court by admitting the offence, after which they are monitored by the county’s Youth Offending Team.
Mrs Boyack did not want to comment, as she is waiting to see a counsellor from Victim Support Wiltshire.
Clyde Hoddinott, chairman of Potterne Parish Council, said he was uneasy that the teenagers would not be prosecuted.
He said: “When a gun is stuck in your face, you can’t be sure if it is real or not and this incident could very easily have developed into something far more serious.
“I feel very sorry for June. It is something she didn’t deserve after all she’s done for the community.”
Inspector Matt Armstrong, at Devizes, said the decision was for the benefit of all involved.
He said: “We take into consideration the type of offence, the wishes of the victim and offending history of those involved.
“The strategic aim is to prevent reoffending by these young people and all methods to achieve this are explored.”
He said the Youth Offending Team did a review of the crime and culprits, to assess whether to prosecute or resolve with reparation or restorative justice.
After the caution, the offenders must adhere to set conditions.