Four gang members, who staged a violent attack on Muzzafer’s Jewellers in the Lancashire town of Burnley have been jailed for a total of more than 42 years, the gang included one dressed in a burkha.
Footage obtained form the town’s CCTV showed how one robber posed as a female wearing a burkha to get into the jewellers in Brougham Street, followed immediately by three partners wielding an imitation rifle, a sword, and metal baseball bats.
After being jailed by Judge Pamela Badley at Preston Crown Court, the Burnley councillor for the area, Cllr Shah Hussain, said: “The fact the thieves wore burqas to trick their way into the store makes this crime even more despicable.”
The same gang members named as Rais Atcha, Faheem Khola, Mohammed Khan, and Baber Khan had already held up an elderly couple aged 74 and 63 at their own home in the Brierfield area of Burnley. The court was told, by Prosecutor Charlotte Holland, that one of them threatened to cut off the elderly woman’s hand if she did not remove treasured jewellery.
Another elderly couple, aged 85 and 77, were similarly attacked and robbed in their own home in the Great Lever area of Bolton, by masked men carrying an axe and a hammer.
All of the gang members pleaded guilty to conspiracy to rob between February and May, 2011. Judge Badley jailed Atcha for 12 years, Khola for 10 years and eight months and Baber Khan for 10 years and eight months. Mohammed Khan, was jailed for nine years and four months and ordered to serve a five-year extended period on license, the latter had previous convictions for drug dealing and wounding.
After the case, Detective Sgt Nicola Bithell, of Burnley CID, said: “These men are dangerous offenders who have been running riot in Lancashire and Greater Manchester for some time”
“The gang used extreme violence and weapons to threaten the victims, leaving them terrified and traumatised.”
View the horrific video below