Two men who smashed their way into a village post office have been jailed.

Leon Coulthard, 27, of no fixed address, and Ben Smith, 32, of Dales Road, Borehamwood, were responsible for a string of armed robberies last year, including in Shenley.

Michelle Ging, 27, of Howard Drive, Borehamwood, has also been sentenced for her role in the crimes.

The crime spree began on August 30 2018 when Coulthard and Smith smashed a glass jewellery cabinet at an Argos store in Cheshunt. They got away with rings worth thousands of pounds, fleeing the scene in a vehicle driven by Ging.

A week later, on September 6, Coulthard and Smith targeted Shenley post office in London Road.

CCTV cameras caught them smashing their way into the store at around 2.30am. They stole alcohol and the cigarette kiosk was ripped from the wall. But the thieves were disturbed by post office owner Dayaram Nakrani who began shouting 'the police are on their way'.

Borehamwood Times:

The post office boarded up last September

Borehamwood Times:

The damage left to the store

Coulthard and Smith left the scene in Ging's car, although she was not involved in this incident.

Exactly a week later, Coulthard and Smith entered a Tesco Express in Stokenchurch, Buckinghamshire. Inside the store, Coulthard hit a victim over the head with a machete, leaving them with life-changing injuries, as Smith tried to grab the store's till.

Ging was the getaway driver as the three fled the area.

Coulthard was also found guilty of stealing from his own family.

Borehamwood Times:

Leon Coulthard

St Albans Crown Court heard that he broke into the home of a family member in Borehamwood on October 23 2018, stealing two Playstations and three rings.

After a trial, Coulthard, Smith, and Ging were sentenced on November 1 for conspiracy to commit robbery and conspiracy to commit burglary.

Coulthard was jailed for 15 years, Smith was sentenced to 12 years and nine months in prison, and Ging was jailed for four years and six months.

Detective Constable James Kier, from the Constabulary’s specialist investigation team, said: "Coulthard, Smith and Ging have proven themselves to be extremely dangerous individuals. "The victim of the attempted robbery was left with life-changing injuries and my thoughts go out to them and everyone who witnessed these frightening events.

"This was a complex investigation and I can only hope that the lengthy sentences these individuals received offers some comfort to all those who were affected by their criminality. I hope they spend their time in prison reflecting on the severity of their crimes and the impact it has had on their victims."

  • Coulthard, Smith, and Ging were acquitted of an armed robbery at the Esso garage in Elstree Hill service station on September 26 2018.