16-year-old in court after armed raid on Burnley shop

A teenager who executed a terrifying knife raid on a Burnley mobile phone shop on New Year’s Day, has been given two years detention.

Majid Hussain (16) and another masked male burst into Sanaa Communications wielding knives at shopkeeper Mohammed Jabar (62) and a colleague, Burnley Crown Court heard.

Majid Hussain

Majid Hussain

The student, of Birkbeck Way, brandished a blade as his balaclava-clad accomplice went behind the counter snatching mobile phones from a cabinet in the Colne Road store.

Hussain fled out of the shop door when one of the victims recognised him but was caught by police several days later when he returned to the store as a customer.

He pleaded guilty to robbery and possessing a blade and was given a two-year detention and training order Burnley Crown Court.

Judge Graham Knowles lifted a section 39 order banning the identification of Hussain at the request of the Burnley Express to warn other youths about the seriousness of knife crime.

Judge Knowles said: “This should send out a message to all young people that if you commit a serious offence with a knife there will be serious consequences and you cannot always expect to hide behind anonymity.”

The court was told that Hussain carried out the armed robbery on January 1st with another male he claimed he met outside a snooker hall.

CCTV footage was played in court showing the defendant momentarily produce a blade as his kitchen knife-wielding accomplice confronted the shopkeeper behind the counter during the raid at 5-45pm.

Hussain was shown fleeing the shop after one of the victims recognised him. The shopkeeper threw a chair at the other male before chasing him with a cricket bat but he managed to smash his way through the window of the locked door and escape, the court was told.

An iPhone worth £400 and three other phones worth between £30 and £40 were taken.

Hussain claimed he had been forced into carrying out the armed robbery by the other male who he said had “held a knife to his throat” and frogmarched him to the shop.

He told police he had carried it out because he was a “scaredy cat” and the male, who he claimed was part of a gang, had bullied him into doing it.

The former Sir John Thursby pupil said: “He said ‘you have to do a robbery’. I didn’t want to go with him. But he had a knife to my neck and he said ‘if you don’t go, you will get it.’

“I was scared for my life. He was a dangerous guy. He has a big name on the streets.”

Sentencing, Judge Knowles told the defendant that while he credited him for pleading guilty, but said: “This was a serious and heavy crime and you plunged in at the deep end and therefore there must be serious consequences.

“I do not accept that you were frogmarched at knife point to take part in the crime but neither were you the ‘main man’ in this. Maybe you took part to gain some sort of status or acceptance with your peers.

“But it is clear to see this crime was pre-planned as you went in disguise armed with a weapon and this was a scene of terror to anyone but the most resilient.’’