ROBBERY victim Imran Patel today welcomed the prison sentences handed out to the men who held him at knife-point in front of his children.

And the 29-year-old restaurant manager told how memories of the night still haunt him and his family.

Mr Patel, of St James Road, Blackburn, said the family had just returned home after visiting relatives where they had celebrated his youngest daughter's first birthday. He answered the door to a teenage girl but as he did so two men, who had been hiding round the corner, barged in. He was bundled to the floor and threatened with kitchen knives as his terrified daughters, aged eight and nine pleaded with the robbers not to hit their daddy.

" It was three months ago but it seems like yesterday," said Mr Patel." It is not the kind of thing you forget and I still find myself looking over my shoulder wherever I go. It was a terrible thing for the children to have to witness and they are still deeply affected."

Mr Patel said the youngsters don't like to be left alone in the room, especially at night, and still have nightmares following the incident.

" I suppose it is something that could affect them for the rest of their lives and I am just trying to do my best to play it down and reassure them," he said.

Mr Patel said as far as he was concerned it would have been fair if the robbers had been locked up and the key thrown away.

"To have a knife put to your throat is a terrifying experience and with the children there I felt so helpless," said Mr Patel. "That is the closest I have ever been to death and I would have no sympathy for them whatever sentence was imposed."

John Daw, 29, and Wesley Lee, 23, both of Homestead, Clayton Brook, Chorley, admitted robbery when they appeared before Preston Crown Court. Daw was jailed for 10 years and Lee for eight.