Horrifying CCTV shows coward robber spraying ammonia at post officer staff

A terrifying CCTV video shows post office workers running for their lives as a robber sprays ammonia at them before he walks away with wads of cash.

Daniel Burtak, 35, was in disguise with a false beard and scarf when he took £15,000 cash from a post office on Abbey Street in Accrington, Lancashire in May, 2019.

He was found guilty of conspiracy to commit robbery and three counts of administering a noxious substance and was jailed today for 12 years with a three-year extended licence period after being deemed to be a "dangerous offender".

In the video played at Burnley Crown Court, Burtak is seen vaulting over a security screen and counter before emerging to spray ammonia from a washing-up liquid bottle at the members of staff.

Workers are seen dodging behind the counter as they flee and at least two people were sprayed during the raid.

Another CCTV shows a later moment Burtak clearing the cash from the drawer as he fills them inside his jacket.

A Lancashire Police statement released after the sentencing said: "CCTV captured getaway driver Colin Naylor picking up Burtak close to a nearby pub in a black Mitsubishi Warrior pickup truck.

"On May 31, 2019, the pair attempted to commit a second robbery — this time at the Post Office on Blackburn Road, Accrington.

"Burtak and Naylor were later filmed by a member of the public acting suspiciously around some bushes on China Street, Accrington.

"Recovered from the bushes were parts of Burtak’s disguise, including a wig which was used as the false beard and gloves, which contained the defendant's DNA."

Lancashire Police said both defendants were subsequently arrested and interviewed.

Both men denied the charges they faced but were convicted by a jury.

Det Con Alex Prendergast, of East Division, said: "This was a planned conspiracy, with both defendants playing their own key roles.

"Burtak's actions inside the Post Office on Abbey Street were both cowardly and shocking.

"Understandably, they left the victims feeling terrified. Thankfully, although they did suffer some injuries, they were not serious."

Sentencing, Judge Sara Dodd said: "You are 35 years of age, you have been before the courts many times during your life.

"You are a man who has lied to the courts and court in Carlisle. You have an entrenched criminal lifestyle.

"There appears to be no consideration by you to serious harm of those who get in your way."

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