Friday 13th robber is jailed

Frightening: armed robber Steven Love
Frightening: armed robber Steven Love

A masked raider who robbed two convenience stores while wielding an machete has been jailed for five-and-a-half years.

Steven Love, 22, thrust an 18-inch blade in the faces of two shop keepers and warned them he would use it if they didn’t hand over cash.

Shopowner Quan Duong pictured after the attack in March

Shopowner Quan Duong pictured after the attack in March

Love sat with his head in his hands as CCTV footage of his first robbery at Craven Stores in Boothtown was shown at Bradford Crown Court.

On March 29 he entered the store with a knife and threatened shopowner Quan Duong

He stole £140 in cash and £100 worth of cigarettes.

At the time of the attack Mr Duong told the Courier: “He was wearing a white skull mask, like the one from the Friday 13th horror films. It was really scary.

“When I saw the knife, I just thought ‘Bloody hell’. It was the biggest knife I had ever seen.

“I heard footsteps upstairs and at that point I was just thinking about my wife and my baby. I was worried she was coming downstairs.”

Eight days later, Love entered Taylor’s in Moor End Road, again with the knife, and demanded that shop owner Terrance Taylor hand over the contents of the till while his wife and daughter hid in the store room.

Mr Taylor refused and pressed a pressed a panic button which sounded an alarm and caused Love to flee the shop with £50 worth of cigarettes.

Witnesses were able to help police to trace Love’s movements after he left the shop and they eventually found a bag containing the machete and the mask.

He admitted two counts of robbery.

Defending, Paul Fleming said Love had committed the offences because he needed to pay drug dealers who supplied him with cannabis.

“He’s a young man who has genuine regard and concern for the people he caused distress to.

“The remorse he feels is heart felt,” Mr Fleming added.

Recorder Attwooll told Love: “You were wearing a frightening mask and were carrying a machete, and the CCTV clearly shows the level of violence you were prepared to use.

“You’re a big man with a big knife and a mask, and you will have looked a very frightening figure,” he added.

Recorder Christopher Attwooll condemned Love for the “violent offences” and sentenced him to five and a half years.