Store knifeman jailed after late night robbery

One Stop Shop at King Cross, Halifax where a burglary took place over night
One Stop Shop at King Cross, Halifax where a burglary took place over night

An armed robber who held-up a convenience store in Halifax has been jailed after he left his fingerprints on a packet of biscuits.

Although Amrad Hussain had gone into the One Stop Shop in King Cross with his hood up, his face was also captured on a short piece of CCTV footage from inside the premises.

The 31-year-old, of Highfield Terrace, King Cross, was arrested by police the day after the late-night attack on the store which took place in February.

Bradford Crown Court heard how Hussain had waited until just before closing time at 11pm and had then gone into the store armed with a large kitchen knife.

Prosecutor Duncan Ritchie said Hussain put a packet of biscuits on the counter before moving around and holding the knife a few inches away from the side of cashier Christopher Dibbs.

Hussain told the cashier: “Open the till. I’ll stab you if you don’t open the till.”

Mr Ricthie said the cashier feared that he would be stabbed and after he opened the till Hussain grabbed just over £400 in notes.

Mr Dibbs’ colleague Jonathan Bates, who had been in the office area, came out to help him, but he was told by Hussain to “stay away”.

“Mr Bates backed away having seen the knife,” said Mr Ritchie.

“He, too, described feeling shocked and scared.”

Mr Ritchie said Hussain, who was convicted of mugging a cyclist back in 2001, told police following his arrest that he had spent the stolen cash on drugs. He said he was going through “turmoil” at the time and didn’t care if he was caught because he would rather be in prison than deal with his life.

The defendant told police he had taken the knife to scare the cashier and had not intended to hurt anyone with it.

Hussain admitted the robbery charge at an early stage in February, but his case was adjourned for the preparation of various reports.

A psychiatrist indicated that Hussain was dealing with paranoid schizophrenia exacerbated by illicit substance misuse and his barrister Conor Quinn said the defendant had sought help two days before he committed the robbery.

Mr Quinn said Hussain was ashamed of the offence and had expressed remorse for his actions.

He suggested that the offence could have been a cry for help and said the fingerprints left on the biscuits and the exposure of his face to the camera indicated that Hussain had not planned the robbery carefully.

Jailing Hussain for 32 months Judge Peter Benson said he had deliberately taken the large knife with him and had threatened two men with it. The judge said he had to take into account Hussain’s early guilty plea and the fact that he had no been in trouble for six years.