"I am too frightened in case that happens again."
An armed gang tied up two sex workers and demanded cash at gunpoint.
Now one of the raiders, Amaan Lone, aged 28, of Short Heath, Walsall, has been jailed for 13 years.
Birmingham Crown Court heard the women, who were good friends, were at their home in Tyseley, Birmingham, on November 13, 2019, when one of them received a call from someone asking where the address was.
At 11:45 pm, the woman looked outside and saw a man, armed with a gun. He then rushed towards the front door.
Jonathan Veasey-Pugh, prosecuting, said:
“He started pushing the door and she was trying to close it.
“He had lodged the gun between the wall and the door and she was unable to shut it.”
Eventually, Lone and his two accomplices forced their way in, their faces covered.
Lone wielded a hunting knife while one gang member had a gun tucked into his waistband.
One victim had the gun shoved into her face as the robbers told them to sit down and demanded to know where the money was kept.
The sex workers were forced into different rooms where they were threatened to be stabbed and shot. One of the victims had a pillow held over her face.
The women had their hands bound with cable ties. Meanwhile, the gang began searching the property.
When one of the women pushed Lone, he threatened to stab her. However, she managed to injure him with his own knife.
The gang then left with the cash they had found.
Police were soon alerted and an investigation was launched.
Blood was found on a purse at the scene and a sample was taken. It matched that of Lone.
Lone was arrested 11 days after the raid. In his bedroom, officers found an imitation firearm and a combat knife.
The weapons were positively identified as the ones used in the attack.
He was charged the same day and later pleaded guilty to two counts of robbery, possessing a blade, possessing an imitation firearm with intent, and possessing cannabis.
The ordeal left both sex workers with psychologically damaging effects. They said they were afraid that the men would return.
One victim said: “I am still very frightened to leave my house, what happened to me has totally ruined my life.
“I do not work like I did before as I am too frightened in case that happens again. I am scared.”
Her friend said: “I don’t trust myself anymore, I’m always scared and I’ve never been like this.
“I’m not myself, I’m afraid for my life. I’m not a normal person anymore.”
Patrick Maggs, defending, said: “This was not a sophisticated robbery. He had his own phone at the premises which suggests a lack of forethought.
“There was a call to check if the women were there. They could not have known when they went in it was somebody’s home.”
Judge Paul Farrer QC told Lone:
“This was a planned group robbery in which two sex workers were threatened with a significant knife and an imitation firearm in their own home.
“Whether or not you realised this was their home, that was the risk you took.
“These two women both suffered serious psychological harm as a direct consequence of your actions.”
“The inference I am driven to make is they were targeted because they were likely to have cash.
“You played a full part in terrorising these victims.”
Birmingham Mail reported that Lone was jailed for 13 years. Police are still working to apprehend the other two suspects involved.
Detective Sergeant Tom Lyons said:
“These crimes were committed by a ruthless group of men armed with knives and an imitation firearm.
“I believe that they attacked these women believing they would not report the incident to police due to fear, embarrassment or the belief that the women would just see this as an occupational hazard.
“They were wrong, and I’d like to praise the two women for coming forward.
“It is disappointing for me and my team that the two other men are yet to be identified.
“I would urge anyone with information and any other victims out there to contact us.”