'I thought I would die' - Shopkeeper hit with rifle in terrifying raid

Shezad Haroon
Shezad Haroon

A brave shopkeeper who fought off an armed teenager has had to give up her family business in Halifax in the wake of the shocking attack.

A judge was this week shown CCTV footage of 63-year-old Mohinder Kaur being confronted by balaclava-wearing drug addict Shezad Haroon while she was working alone at her mini-market premises on Hopwood Lane in January.

Hopwood Lane Mini Market

Hopwood Lane Mini Market

Haroon, who was carrying a sawn-off air rifle, hit his victim over the head with the imitation firearm as she bundled him back out of the shop door, but he then aimed at the shopkeeper pulling the trigger at least twice.

In her victim impact statement the married mother-of-three described how she felt like she was fighting for her life that morning and still suffered flashbacks of the masked gunman.

“I keep hearing the click click of the gun and thinking I’m going to die,” she said.

Bradford Crown Court heard that as a result of the attack on the morning of January 7 this year the complainant was still suffering from headaches and also receiving counselling.

Mrs Kaur, who was at court to see Haroon locked up, had also taken the most difficult decision of her life to sell the shop and move away from Halifax.

She said there had never had any trouble at the shop over the 34 years that she had lived and worked there and it had been her “sanctuary”, but the attack had meant it was now the worst place for her to be.

Mrs Kaur revealed that she had been a friend of Huddersfield shopkeeper Gurmail Singh, who was murdered during a robbery at his store in 2010, and she felt like she could have died in the same way.

Haroon, 18, of Kismet Close, Halifax, fled the scene, but police were able to trace him because he had travelled by taxi from his home to the area of the shop that morning.

He pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to charges of possession of an imitation firearm with intent to commit a robbery and assault with intent to rob.

A judge heard on Monday that at the time of the shop attack Haroon was already on bail for Class A drug offences.

Judge Colin Burn locked up Haroon for a total of seven years in young offender institution after hearing he had attacked the shopkeeper because he was desperate for money.

He said the complainant had been caused severe psychological harm by the attack.

Haroon appeared in the dock alongside his 26-year-old drug addict brother Awais, also of Kismet Close, who pleaded guilty to a series of offences relating to his Class A drug dealing in Halifax.

Awais Haroon was jailed for a total of seven years for those offences.