Punters at a Halifax betting shop fled in terror when a knifeman demanded cash from the staff and jumped onto the counter during an armed robbery.
A judge was today (Thursday) shown shocking CCTV footage of convicted robber Amrad Hussain confronting two male members of staff at the Betfred premises in King Cross, Halifax, three months.
Drug addict Hussain, 34, was carrying a large kitchen knife when he went into the bookies at about 6pm on April 16 and immediately told staff: ”I want your ******* cash.”
Prosecutor Dave Mackay told Bradford Crown Court that one of the staff recognised Hussain as a customer and thought he was joking.
But the employee pressed the alarm button when Hussain, of no fixed abode, said he wasn’t kidding and jumped up onto the counter.
Hussain then shouted:”Give the money or you’re going to get stabbed.”
Mr Mackay said other customers ran out as Hussain grabbed coins totalling about £110 from a tray and then left the shop.
Both members of staff were left feeling shocked by the incident and one of them said he now felt paranoid every time he hears the door open.
Back in September 2015 Hussain, then of Highfield Terrace, King Cross, was jailed for 32 months after he carried out an almost identical armed robbery at a One Stop shop near his home.
During that robbery he stole £400 in notes, but he left his fingerprints on a packet of biscuits.
After the robbery at the bookies Hussain bizarrely lay down in a nearby alleyway with his arms and legs outstretched waiting to be arrested.
Mr Mackay said Hussain was telling people that he was wanted for a “serious crime” and when police officers arrived he said:”I know. I know. I’ve done it because I just need help.”
Hussain, who pleaded guilty to charges of robbery and possession of a bladed article which was used to threaten violence, was jailed this time for 40 months by Judge Jonathan Rose.
Barrister Conor Quinn said his client was homeless at the time of the robbery and Hussain was abusing Class A drugs and alcohol.
“He felt he wasn’t getting the support that he needed,” said Mr Quinn.
“He knew he was going to be caught. The people in the shop knew him and he lay down outside afterwards asking for the police to be called.”
Mr Quinn submitted that it had “a cry for help” and he urged Judge Rose not to conclude that his client posed a substantial risk of serious harm to the public.
But Judge Rose said Hussain’s offending showed a willingness to use or threaten violence to achieve his ends.
He said reports on the defendant painted a picture of a very aggressive man and he had put his perceived needs above those of other members of the public.
“It is that, I’m afraid to say, selfish self-interest that makes you a potentially dangerous person when your desire to achieve your ends is through violence or the threat of violence,” the judge told Hussain.
The judge accepted that the crime had all the hallmarks of a cry for help, but he said although Hussain may not have intended to cause serious harm how were other people to know that as he jumped onto the counter with a substantial blade in his hand.
“It isn’t always about you Mr Hussain. It is about the members of the public who suffer as a consequence of your offending,” said the judge.