Pizza driver threatened with butchers knife

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A 25-year-old man has been jailed for more than two years after he threatened a pizza delivery worker with a butcher’s knife.

Mohammed Qureshi was said to have been traumatised by the incident which happened at night as he delivered a pizza and other items to a bedsit in Mixenden, Halifax, in June.

Prosecutor John Bull told Bradford Crown Court how the unsuspecting delivery man had gone to the property on Mixenden Road shortly before 10pm.

Christopher Crossland, 25, answered the door and was told by Mr Qureshi that the bill came to almost £35.

But Crossland, who only had about £10, queried the bill and then said he didn’t have enough money.

Mr Bull said Crossland went upstairs to get more cash, but when he returned to the door he armed himself with a butcher’s-style knife with an eight-inch long blade.

“He then raised that knife above his shoulder in what Mr Qureshi described as a threatening manner and said you had better give me the pizza,” said Mr Bull.

The frightened complainant handed over the food and backed away down the path.

As he left Crossland told him: “Sorry about that. I haven’t got any money for electricity.”

Mr Qureshi, who worked for Domino Pizza, contacted his employers and the police.

Mr Bull said initially another man was arrested on suspicion of involvement in the offence, but a few days later Crossland admitted his responsibility.

Today Crossland, who had only been given a community sentence by Calderdale magistrates’ six days before the offence, pleaded guilty to the robbery charge.

His barrister Shufqat Khan said at the time his client was being put under pressure and bullied.

Mr Khan conceded that the victim had been vulnerable, but he pointed out that Crossland had used his own name to order the food and it had been an unsophisticated offence.

Jailing Crossland for 27 months Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC said the offence had had damaging consquences for a wholly innocent man who had been doing his job.

The judge said he was not surprised that the complainant had had difficulty coping with the aftermath of the robbery and he had clearly been traumatised.

“This is a major escalation Mr Crossland in your behaviour,” said the judge.

“It seems almost inexplicable that you behaved so rashly, recklessly and seriously.”

The judge said it had probably been an opportunistic offence and he noted that Crossland appeared to be genuinely sorry.