Burnley Spar shop shotgun robbery: pair in court

Two men who took part in shotgun raids on two stores just hours apart face long stretches behind bars.

Mohammed Usman Khan (22), of Kent Street, was found guilty of conspiring to rob the Tote Sport bookmakers in Bury and conspiring to rob the Spar shop in Melville Street, Burnley, after a trial at Burnley Crown Court.

Khan had insisted he only carried out the attacks on the premises under duress. He was remanded in custody and will be sentenced on January 14th with Gulhassan Khan (23) of Burnley Road, Colne, who had earlier confessed to carrying out both the robberies.

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The jury had been told how CCTV footage showed a shop assistant at Spar being held up by gunman Gulhassan Khan and his accomplice Mohammed Usman Khan. Video of the pair at the bookmakers in Moorgate was also shown to the court. Both raids took place on September 1st, 2009.

Mr Hugh McKee (prosecuting) said the defendants got away with just £123 as “11am was not the bet time to rob a bookmakers.” The Spar shop was targeted just after 3pm, when an assistant was forced to hand over cash.

Two other men, also said to be part of the plot to rob the bookmakers, had earlier walked free from court.

Mohammed Abdul Ghafaar and Wajid Khan, now both 20, were said to have been captured on the CCTV footage “staking out” the premises before the raid.

Ghafaar, of Merton Street, and Khan, of Kent Street, both Burnley, had earlier admitted to conspiracy to rob the store, between August 18th and September 2nd, 2009. They had owned up during the second week of a trial. Neither had any previous convictions.

The duo were each given 52 weeks in jail, suspended for two years, with 200 hours unpaid work.

Judge Beverly Lunt, who will also sentence Gulhassan Khan and Mohammed Usman Khan, had said of the pair who she spared jail: “I am entirely satisfied neither of these two idiots knew what they were getting involved in.”