A key member of a gang who conspired to stage a ‘fake’ £192,000 armed robbery at a post office has been ordered to pay back just £1 in compensation – after he refused to get out of his cell for the hearing.
Jason Yarwood donned ‘CSI-style’ body suits with his brother Terry when they chloroformed and tied up Rishton postmaster Mohammed Iqbal who acted as an ‘inside man’.
The brothers made off Iqbal’s car, stamps and postal orders and cash during the ‘carefully orchestrated and seemingly authentic’ robbery on June 5, 2015.
However at a proceeds of crime (POCA) hearing this week, Jason Yarwood was ordered to pay just a nominal £1 sum after prosecutors said that was the only ‘available’ money he had.
He has been given three months to pay or face an extra seven days in jail in default.
Yarwood, 41, of Preston is currently serving a 34 month prison sentence and the court heard how he ‘refused to get out of his cell’ to attend the POCA hearing.
Prosecutor Jonathan Dickinson said the value of the cash stolen was originally worth £185,000 in 2015 but has now risen to £192,512.99 with inflation.
Terry Yarwood, 37, of Ridley Road, Preston, was ordered to pay back £24,600 in compensation within three months or face an extra six months on his current 28-month jail sentence.
Iqbal, 34, of Maple Crescent, Preston, could pay just £1,123.25 in compensation or face three months in jail in default. He is currently serving a 28 month sentence.
His defence barrister Carl Hargan told the court how Iqbal, who also refused to attend the POCA hearing, was expecting to pay back around £700.
However this has now increased after a financial investigator determined another £400 was seized from his address.
Mr Hargan said: “My view is that Mr Iqbal will not dispute that that is the available amount but I don’t have specific instructions to simply accept the figure.”
Judge Beverley Lunt said the £1,123.25 figure could be agreed administratively if Iqbal signed documents accepting the amount.
The POCA hearing for Avaiz Samad, who acted as a ‘getaway driver’ for the gang, was adjourned to November 24 after a disagreement between the prosecution and defence about how much he should pay back.
The court heard how police seized £30,000 from two safes at Samad’s home after the incident.
However Mark Stuart, defending Samad, claimed that £3,000 belonged to his father and £27,000 belonged to his uncle who also lived at the property.
Samad, 24, of Blackpool Road, Ashton-on-Ribble, was jailed for three years after being found guilty after a trial of conspiracy to steal monies.
All three other gang members pleaded guilty to the same charge.
The INNOCENT sister of callous Mohammed Iqbal is being pursued by Post Office bosses to repay the £192,000 following the faked robbery,the court heard.
Carl Hargan, representing her brother, told Burnley Crown Court that the company is pursuing the postmistress, who had no involvement in the crimes, for the ‘total amount’ as Mohammed Iqbal was an employee of hers.
Judge Beverley Lunt said she could be the ‘ultimate’ victim of the criminal actions of her brother and his associates.
Mr Hargan told the proceeds of crime hearing: “She is obviously very concerned about the proceedings.
"She has brought it to my attention that the Post Office are pursuing her for the total amount of monies that were stolen because she is the postmistress and her brother was effectively working for her.
"I wondered, but I haven’t looked at the law, that whether under those circumstances she was an interested party?”
However Judge Beverley Lunt said the postmistress could not be involved in the POCA hearing and said it was too late for her to make a compensation order as part of the original sentence.
She said: “I don’t think that she can have any standing in the POCA.
"She could and should of course have asked the prosecution to make an application for compensation if she was the ultimate loser.”