hundreds of pounds worth of items were taken.
A gang have been sentenced for an armed robbery spree on convenience stores in Bradford.
During the “frightening” raids, the group used various weapons including a BB gun, machete, knives, meat cleaver and an axe to steal items such as cash, cigarettes and stamps.
Ismail Ahmed, aged 18; Anas Ahmed, aged 19, and Aidan Naveed, aged 18, all conspired together to rob shops in Bradford, Queensbury, Wilsden and Denholme over a period of months.
A 17-year-old youth also conspired to commit some of the robberies.
The robberies were all similar. A group of four or five men wearing dark clothes, gloves and balaclavas would enter the shop, demand money from the till, jump over the counter and fill a duvet, laundry bag, holdall or rucksack with cash, cigarettes or stamps.
One gang member holding a weapon, usually an axe, would act as a lookout.
The gang would then flee in a getaway car.
The robberies took place between February and December 2019. In each of them, hundreds of pounds worth of items were taken.
On one occasion, a woman and a young girl were at the shop counter just before the gang entered to commit the armed robbery.
Another occasion saw a getaway car spotted by police and a pursuit soon followed, reaching speeds of up to 80mph.
One of the robberies was unsuccessful. During a second attempt to raid Costcutter in Beacon Road, the gang tried to enter through the front door, but the shopkeeper was waiting by the door and forced it shut.
This prevented the men from entering and they left empty-handed.
The five defendants pleaded guilty to the charges.
In mitigation, Bradford Crown Court heard the defendant’s ages and immaturity should be taken into account at the time of the robberies, with most of them aged between 15 and 17.
Judge Andrew Hatton said:
“A significant number of substantive robberies occurred. They are wrapped up in two conspiracy to rob offences.
“The victims were undoubtedly terrified. It was a spree of robberies.”
“Throughout, customers and staff were frightened.”
Anas Ahmed was sentenced to six years and six months in a young offenders’ institution.
Ismail Ahmed was sentenced to six years and three months in a young offenders’ institution. He was also banned from driving for 12 months upon his release after being involved in a police chase after one of the robberies.
Aidan Naveed was sentenced to five years and seven months in a young offenders’ institution.
All three will serve half of their sentences in custody. They will serve the remainder out on licence.
The Telegraph and Argus reported that the 17-year-old was sentenced to an 18-month detention and training order.
The fifth person, Hamid Yameen, aged 19, had prepared one of the gang’s getaway cars. He received a two-year community order, ordered to complete a 30-day rehabilitation activity requirement and 300 hours of unpaid work.