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Cheryl Cole's brother remanded over Post Office raid

Cheryl Cole's brother appeared in court today charged with robbing a post office.

Andrew Tweedy, 30, faced North Tyneside Magistrates' Court in North Shields alongside two other men and his girlfriend.

The jobless father of one, who was unshaven, wore a grey T-shirt and olive jacket for the hearing.

Magistrates were told by prosecutor Penny Thompson that the charges related to a raid on a post office in Longbenton, North Tyneside, on Monday, during which two men held up the premises in Hailsham Avenue with a gun and a machete.

During the raid a firearm was discharged into the ceiling of the building and the robbers, who escaped in a waiting car, got away with £2,000, Miss Thompson said.

Tweedy, who now uses his father's surname Leighton, is charged with robbery, as is Christopher Swindle, 23, and Christopher Finlinson, 22.

Tweedy's girlfriend, Emma Stanners, 29 - the mother of their baby son - faces a charge of money laundering.

Tweedy, of Thirlwall Court, Longbenton, North Tyneside, Swindle, of Gleneagles Close, also Longbenton, and Finlinson, of Chatsworth Gardens, Walker, Newcastle, were all remanded into custody.

No applications for bail were made and they were ordered to appear before Newcastle Crown Court on May 28.

Stanners, also of Thirlwall Court, was released on conditional bail and ordered to appear before North Tyneside magistrates on June 25 for a committal hearing.

Five other men who were held in connection with the raid have been released on police bail.