TWO men accused of taking part in an armed robbery at a village post office have made their first crown court appearance in the case.

But a third defendant, the brother of one of the co-accused, is now also facing a charge arising from the police investigation into the incident, for allegedly helping to dispose of the handgun said to have been used in the raid.

David Declan Hanley and James Kieth Wright appeared via video link to Durham Crown Court from the city’s nearby prison.

They are charged with the robbery at the Post Office in Hunwick, near Crook, in which they are alleged to have taken currency, stamps and postal orders worth a total of £7,500, on Wednesday April 25.

Both are also accused of possessing a handgun while committing the offence and theft of a motorbike.

Mr Wright’s brother, Thomas Edward Wright, appeared in the dock charged with perverting the course of justice over the alleged disposal of the weapon.

The charges were not put to the defendants during the short hearing which was adjourned pending a plea hearing, on June 22.

Mr Hanley, 27, of Hawes Crescent, Crook, and 26-year-old James Wright, of Park Street, Willington, were remanded to remain in custody, but Thomas Wright, 27, was bailed to an address in Frodsham, Cheshire.