A tense stand-off in a village post office has ended peacefully after a man of African appearance bought some stamps and left without stealing anything or shooting anyone. The post office, in Trymbury on the Stowe, was busy with elderly patrons when the man, now identified as 33 year old account manager David Wetherly, burst in not wearing a balaclava. ‘He just walked up to the counter bold as brass’, said Post Office manager Ian Youngs, ‘I thought, this is it, and I shouted for Maureen to get the dogs.’ The other customers, who were huddled in groups talking about the appalling heat and humidity of the previous night, took cover as Mr Wetherly approached the counter. Some hid behind their trolleys, others crawled beneath leaflets.
Wetherly, who has a good job and is married with children, was unaware of the ensuing panic until after the incident. ‘I just needed some stamps’, he said after being released from police custody, ‘I thought I would nip into the Post Office after seeing it by chance in between customer appointments, I had been meaning to send a cheque to Cancer Research and kept forgetting, so when I saw it was open I just stopped outside and went in.’ Wetherly was cornered by police after exiting the shop and was immediately arrested and taken for questioning. After it was discovered he wasn’t armed and did not have a criminal record, he was released after a further two hours ‘just to be on the safe side’.
Sergeant Barry Tullow of Trymbury police service gave this statement, ‘At approximately 2.15 yesterday afternoon, a gentleman entered the local post office looking suspicious. The post office manager pressed a panic button under the counter, which is remotely linked to the police station by a wireless doorbell unit. When we realised that it wasn’t someone at the door, we flew into action and arrested the gentleman as he posted a letter outside, before apparently trying to make his escape. We questioned the gentleman, and it appears on this occasion he was not intending to hold up the post office, so we let him go. We wish Mr Wetherly all the best, and would like to add that if he is ever in the area again, he is most welcome to call in at the services two miles from the village. This would be a very relaxing way to spend a few minutes, what with the Little Chef and other amenities on offer.’