AN ARMED robber who sprayed Post Office workers in the face with ammonia in a terrifying raid was jailed for six years and four months yesterday (Tuesday, June 16).

Graham Wise, 41, left a female employee blinded in one eye and her colleague with blurred vision after the attack.

The High Court in Edinburgh heard the woman has now regained the central vision in her right eye after specialist treatment but still has some peripheral blurring.

Her colleague who was also sprayed with ammonia was treated by paramedics after the attack at the Post Office in Mill Road, Alloa, on January 23 this year which netted Wise a mail bag.

Two days after the assault and robbery Wise struck again at the Riverside Mini Market in Abbey Road, Stirling, which houses a post office and shop.

Wise menaced an employee there with a knife before robbing her of £794.

A judge told Wise: "You have a significant record for similar offences and offences of violence, both in England and Scotland, over a long period of time."

Lord Burns said: "The courts repeatedly make it clear that this sort of crime will be dealt with by significant periods of imprisonment."

Wise, a prisoner in Glasgow's Barlinnie jail, admitted assaulting a woman to her injury and impairment by demanding money and spraying ammonia on her face and robbing her of the mail bag.

He also pled guilty to assaulting the woman's colleague by spraying ammonia on his face and body.

And he admitted assaulting another woman on January 25 this year in the second masked raid by brandishing a knife at her and robbing her of money.

Advocate depute Jane Farquharson QC said that before the raid on the Alloa Post Office Wise went into the premises and asked what time it closed, before leaving.

He returned later wearing a beanie hat and with a scarf partially covering his face and shouted to an employee: "Give me the f*****g money."

Miss Farquharson said: "She initially believed his comment to be a prank and laughed this off. However the accused repeated the comment and they sprayed her in the face with a substance from a lemon-shaped squeezy bottle."

"The substance caused her eyes to sting and blurred her vision. The accused then sprayed [her colleague] with the same substance, which mostly struck his chest but also splashed the side of his face and eyes, causing his vision to become partially blurred," she said.

The employees managed to get out while Wise climbed over a counter and later ran off with the mail bag.

Miss Farquharson said: "[The woman] had a burning sensation in her right eye and had lost the vision in her right eye."

The prosecutor said she was diagnosed with a stem cell injury to the eye and was treated with antibiotics and steroids. She said: "She has regained her central vision but still has some peripheral blurring."

A police dog was brought in after the post office raid and the mailbag was found in woodland with opened parcels scattered around as well as a scarf, hat and knife.

The lemon shaped bottle was found in the post office and its liquid contents were forensically examined and identified as ammonia.

Miss Farquharson said that two days later Wise was at the home of a friend and revealed that he was desperate for money and planned to rob the Riverside Mini Market.

The prosecutor said: "He attempted to persuade him not to but the accused said he had nothing to lose as he was already wanted by the police for another robbery he had committed only a few days earlier. He also commented that he was 'tooled up'."

Wise went into the premises with a scarf partially masking his face and pulled out a knife before handing a carrier bag to an employee and telling her: "Empty the till and no one gets hurt."

She put cash into the bag but also activated an attack alarm and Wise grabbed the bag and fled.

Police arrived to find the robbery victim in a distressed and shaking state and went to the home of Wise's friend. Wise was found hiding in a bedroom cupboard.

Defence counsel Drew McKenzie said unemployed Wise has long-standing drink and drug problems.

He said: "He indicated that in the cold light of day in prison he recognises that what he did was appalling and is disgusted by his actions."

Detective Inspector David MacGregor, of Stirling CID, said: "This was a fast moving inquiry which involved outstanding work from officers across response policing, community officers and my own CID team. I hope the court result gives some comfort to those impacted by these crimes, particularly the staff at both premises.

"I would like to thank the public for their help during our investigation."