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By Staff Reporter

AN 18-YEAR-OLD Zimbabwean who tried to rob a postmistress armed with a metal bar in Hampshire, England, was starting a seven-year jail term on Thursday.

Admire Masaiti, 18, from London, was told by sentencing Judge Thomas Longbotham that the attack on the 67-year-old woman provoked "revulsion" in ordinary people and said the impact on Linda Scorey would last much longer than her physical injuries.

The Winchester Crown Court heard that Scorey was left with two black eyes and two large cuts to her head following the attack in June last year which was caught on CCTV.

The court heard how the Masaiti travelled to Winchester on June 27 last year and wandered to Sparsholt.
First Masaiti, wearing a hoodie, went into the Post Office and asked Scorey for 80p of sweets and left. Minutes later he returned and demanded that she should hand over money.

The pensioner hit the panic button and tried to shelter in the glass-partitioned post office part of the shop but Masaiti, who was 17 at the time, hurled a rock through the window, breaking the glass.

He forced his way in and dragged Scorey out while she bravely tried to free herself. As the fighting continued, Masaiti hit her over the head with a metal pipe before fleeing.

He was later caught when traces of his DNA were found on the sweets he had bought earlier and thrown away nearby.

Police had his DNA on file from his previous offences, which included possessing an offensive weapon, shoplifting and street robbery.

Judge Thomas Longbotham described the attack as traumatic and told Masaiti: "The photographs of her injuries were the kind that would cause revulsion in the eyes of the public. It's a terrible thing to do to anyone."

He added: "You must understand people cannot just forget about these incidents. This sort of offence stays with people and has a great effect on people beyond the physical injuries."

Matthew Morgan, mitigating, said that Masaiti was remorseful for the attack and that his offending had been a result of excessive drink and drugs. He added that his client had led a tough life since moving to London in 2005 to live with his aunt and that this had driven him to run away and get involved in drink and drugs.

Morgan said that Masaiti caused the injuries to Scorey through panic.

The 265 days that Masaiti has served so far will be taken off the custodial sentence.

Scorey was awarded a bravery certificate in recognition of her actions.

"I'm not sure you think when something like that happens," she said.

"When he hit me with the rock or stone, I couldn't tell you what went through my mind, you just defend yourself and because I was heavier and bigger than him I pushed him away.

"Because he didn't have the rock anymore, he dragged out this piece of piping although I didn't realise that is what it was at the time.

"I remember thinking, 'my God he's got a baseball bat, oh dear,' then I realised it wasn't a baseball bat. I just don't know what I thought. You just act on instinct.
"I couldn't hold on to him until the police came. He went under the counter flap and ran out.

"There was blood everywhere and I burst into tears afterwards."

Det Con Stephen Legg, of Hampshire police, said: "She is a very modest woman and she is to be praised although the police do not always encourage people to confront robbers."

[Click here to watch video of attack]


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