Two jailed over terrifying Burnley robbery

Lancashire Telegraph: The CCTV image of the raid The CCTV image of the raid

THIS is the terrifying moment armed robbers burst into a Burnley shop, holding up a worker at gunpoint.

Dramatic CCTV images, released for the first time by police, show the masked raid on the Spar shop in Melville Street.

They point a shotgun at the shop assistant and order him to hand over around £500 before fleeing the scene.

The footage has been released after the two thugs were jailed for a total of 10 years and eight months.

Mohammed Usman Khan, 22, of Kent Street, Burnley, and Gulhassan Khan, 23, Burnley Road, Colne, appeared at Burnley Crown Court yesterday.

Usman was jailed for eight years after he was found guilty of conspiracy to commit robbery following a four day trial. Gulhassan was jailed for 32 months after pleading guilty at an early stage.

A further two men, Wajid Khan, 19, of Kent Street, and Mohammed Siddique Ghafaar, 18, of Merton Street, both Burnley, pleaded guilty to the conspiracy at a previous hearing and were given 52 weeks in jail, suspended for two years, with 200 hours community service.

Co-defendants Owess Khan, 22, of Fifth Avenue, and Syed Hassan Reza, 23 of Gordon Street, also Burnley, were acquitted of both charges on the direction of Judge Lunt.

Earlier hearings were told that the Khans, who are not related, had enlisted the help of two friends, Mohammed Abdul Ghafaar and Wajid Khan, to ‘stake out’ the Tote bookmakers in Moorgate, Bury.

They struck at the bookmakers at around 11.30am where a member of staff was threatened with a shotgun and around £200 was stolen on 1 September 2009.

Because of the slim proceeds, they then decided to rob the Spar store in Melville Street, Burnley, later that day.

Later Gulhassan Khan would claim it was a toy but Usman Khan insisted it was real, during his trial.

James Bourne-Arton, for Gulhassan Khan, said his client had given evidence at two trials to help convict his fellow conspirators, despite the risks to himself and his family.

The defendant did have ambitions to become a hairdresser but had been aware since 2009 that he was facing a significant jail sentence.

David Pojur, for Usman Khan, said that the conspiracy had been ‘relatively unsophisticated’ and reflected his ‘immaturity’ at the time.

He was also studying at Burnley College, where he was on a public services course and wanted to go on to take business studies, English and maths qualifications.

Passing sentence, Judge Beverley Lunt told them that the use of a shotgun had made the ordeal for staff ‘truly terrifying’.

“These are two serious offences but fortunately no-one was physically hurt. But clearly they were distressing incidents,” added Judge Lunt.

Speaking after the hearing, DC Ifte Ali, from Burnley CID, said: “This was clearly a very frightening ordeal and a serious offence, which was aggravated by the use of a dangerous weapon.

“Offences such as this will not be tolerated and we will continue to do everything we can to identify those responsible and bring them to justice.”

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