A TEENAGE robber who was one of two masked knifemen who brought terror to a Burnley mobile phone shop, has been jailed for two years.
The town's crown court told how 16-year-old Majid Hussain claimed he had been forced into the raid at Sana Communications on Colne Road, on New Year's Day, by a dangerous gang leader 'with a big name' who, he said, had put a blade to his neck and left him in fear for his life.
He told a judge at the town's crown court: "I thought I was going to die."
The hearing was told how student Hussain and the other man, who took the leading role in the pre-planned attack, had burst into the shop wearing balaclavas and hoods and both had produced knives.
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The defendant had fled from the store after his disguise slipped and he had been recognised by the proprietor Mohammad Jabar, 62.
He was arrested in the shop after he went back to the premises three days later and was asked into the office by Mr Jabar, who told him he wasn't going to call the police, but then did.
The teenager had told the owner: "I didn't do it. The other guy did." He went on to lie to the police, telling them he hadn't been armed.
When questioned a second time after CCTV stills were seen by his lawyer, he said he had taken part as he was a 'scaredy cat' and had been bullied into it, but yet, the hearing was told, he had been brave enough to tell his accomplice to go in first.
Hussain, of Birkbeck Way, Burnley, had earlier admitted robbery and possessing a blade.
Stephen Parker, prosecuting, said Mr Jabar was behind the counter with relative Imran Mehmood, when two young men entered at 5.45pm. One of them - not the defendant, who stayed behind him - approached, pulled out a large kitchen knife, pointed it at Mr Jabar and demanded: "Give us the money and give us the phones."
Neither Mr Jabar nor his nephew were aware Hussain had a knife. The first man started to steal phonse.
Mr Parker said the teenager's disguise may have slipped and Mr Jabar recognised him, telling him: "I know you."
The defendant turned and ran from the shop, chased by the proprietor, who locked the door, trapping the first robber inside, who climbed out of the shop. The man has not been arrested by police.
His barrister Jeremy Lasker told the hearing Hussain came from a well respected family.
Judge Graham Knowles, QC. sentencing, told Hussain: “This was a very serious, very heavy crime. It was a scene of some terror to anybody but the strongest willed human being.”