An eyewitness was ‘cowering’ in a the post office when the son of a Worcestershire postmaster was shot and killed, it has emerged.
Four men appeared at Redditch Magistrates Court on Saturday charged with the murder of Craig Hodson-Walker, 29, and the attempted murder of his father Ken. They were also charged with attempted robbery at the family-run post office in Fairfield, North Worcestershire, on January 9.
Christopher Morrissey (31) from Sheldon, Declan Paul Morrissey (33), from Solihull, Anselm Joseph Ribera, (33), of Druids Heath, and Adrian Vincent Snape, age (24), from Small Heath, spoke only to confirm their name and address.
Chairman of the bench, Victoria Quarton, confirmed they would be remanded in custody until their next hearing at Worcestershire Crown Court on January 26.
But during the hearing it emerged that a customer was in the post office when Mr Hodson-Walker was shot.
Prosecuting, Miss Abbey Kingston, said: “CCTV footage shows a female customer in the shop at the time of the shooting.
“The female customer cowers in the shop and tries her best to make herself as invisible as possible.
“Words simply cannot describe her actions.”
The death of Mr Hodson-Walker sparked a huge police operation.
More than 200 motorists were quizzed by detectives a week after the alleged murder and the Post Office put up a £50,000 reward to catch his killers.
Five people arrested for assisting an offender earlier this week have now been released on police bail pending further inquiries.
Meanwhile, a group of volunteers from Fairfield have offered to run the post office after Mr Hodson-Walker’s family said they wanted the business to reopen as soon as possible.
Coun James Bradley, of Belbroughton and Fairfield Parish Council, said: “The whole village is in a state of shock over what has happened.
‘‘We wish to express our deepest sympathy and goodwill to the family.
“The unanimous feeling is that we all want to help and we are all keen to see the shop and post office reopened as soon as possible for the benefit of the family and local community. We will obviously do everything we can to help them and the police investigation.”