A MAN accused of taking part in a robbery at a village post office has appeared in court almost two-and-a-half years after the crime was committed.

Reece Smith is alleged to have, “jointly with another”, robbed a male assistant of money, at the post office in Ushaw Moor, near Durham, on December 15, 2016.

Two robbers, armed with hammers, are said to have carried out the raid, escaping with an estimated £745 from the Temperance Terrace premises.

Appearing at a plea hearing, at Durham Crown Court, the 23-year-old defendant pleaded not guilty when the charge was put to him.

Forensic evidence recovered from a hammer left at the scene and from a glove bearing glass fragments from the post office, which was later found by police in his former car, are alleged to link the defendant to the crime.

Defence barrister Christopher Knox said he would like to see the full statement of the forensic scientist involved in the case before deciding if the evidence is to be challenged.

Mr Knox said the defendant no longer owned the car at the time the glove was recovered by police.

The case was adjourned for a potential trial of up to three days’ estimated duration, starting at the court on Monday October 28.

Judge Christopher Prince bailed the defendant, of Chester Road, Sunderland.