Daylight robbery

PUBLISHED: 12:43 20 July 2006 | UPDATED: 10:31 06 May 2010

Dilip Karavadra

Dilip Karavadra

A sub-postmaster who was badly beaten during an armed robbery has been asked to pay £3,000 of the stolen cash by the Post Office. The shock in the mail came after the Post Office said Dilip Karavadra had contributed to the loss of £6,695.65 because he mov

A sub-postmaster who was badly beaten during an armed robbery has been asked to pay £3,000 of the stolen cash by the Post Office.

The shock in the mail came after the Post Office said Dilip Karavadra had contributed to the loss of £6,695.65 because he moved away from an open hatch allowing the raiders to jump through and snatch the cash.

Mr Karavadra was beaten unconscious during the raid on his sub-post office in Upper Caldecote on December 7.

"They could have killed me. I was fighting for my life and now the Post Office wants half of the cash back that was violently stolen from me," said Mr Karavadra who has run the post office in Hitchin Road in the village for six years.

"I am the victim here but the Post Office will not listen to me. I am sick of the whole business.

"I am still recovering from the injuries I suffered. I might as well pack up and find a safer job."

The robbery happened when nine people were waiting to be served, mostly trying to post Christmas mail.

The raiders burst through a small hatch and beat Mr Karavadra around the head with an iron bar.

"I put up a fight but was frightened I was going to get killed or my customers hurt. I ended up in hospital with a broken arm and having 14 stitches in my head," said Mr Karavadra.

"What the Post Office is not taking into account is I prevented another £14,000 being taken from the safe because I fought back and they fled."

Mr Karavadra is due to appear before a Post Office hearing in St Albans on Thursday next week when he is appealing against the claim. The Post Office had originally asked for £6,000.

MP for North East Bedfordshire Alistair Burt this week warned the Post Office he intends to raise Mr Karavadra's case in the House of Commons if they refuse to back down.

:"Mr Karavadra should be hailed as a hero. He acted in the best interests of his customers, who were threatened by armed men," said Mr Burt.

"But instead of thanking their heroic sub-postmaster, the Post Office is mirroring every blow of the iron bar.

"The amount of money the Post Office is asking for is small change to such a large organisation.

"I do not agree he can be blamed for the raid or was negligent. If he does not pay the Post Office he will almost certainly be forced out of his job."

Andy Craddock, Bedfordshire secretary of the National Federation of Sub Post Masters, said: "This could have led to the death of Mr Karavadra. We are now doing everything to fight this case but the Post Office are judge and jury.

"The result of this hearing will be binding and final. They will either wipe it out or ask for the money. Mr Karavadra is paying for the privilege of being robbed."

A spokesman for the Post Office said: "We cannot go into details of a purely internal matter between us and our sub postmaster as no final decisions have yet been made and we are still looking sympathetically into the issue and taking full account of all of the circumstances. However, in general terms we take security very seriously and as part of our contract with sub postmasters we stipulate security standards which must be followed for the safety and security of all.


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