A robber who struck a shopkeeper with a dumbbell weights bar leaving him injured and suffering restricted vision in one eye, has been jailed for three and a half years.
The other was a 16 year old youth, who cannot be identified for legal reasons. Both were trying to cover their faces and approached the shopkeeper Mustafa Tai asking for cigarettes.
Mehran Nassiri prosecuting said Varley produced an iron bar from inside his jumper sleeve and said “Give me money.”
The youth shouted he had a knife and Mr Tai looked at him but did not see one. He was just turning his head back towards Varley when he was hit just above his left eye. He was bleeding and felt a lot of pain.
The robbers grabbed some cigarettes and fled. Later that morning they turned up at the home of the teenager’s sister and Varley began emptying his pockets of some cigarettes and about £90-£100 in cash telling her “I’ve just t***ted someone for it.”
The teenager who looked shocked and white, later told his sister they had been up all night and were talking about robbing a shop but he thought Varley was just messing about because he was “off his head on MCat”.
After the robbery Mr Tai had only partial vision, suffered persistent headaches and had to have surgery. It is likely he will have some permanent reduction in vision.
When the teenager was interviewed he said they had taken a taxi to Cleckheaton and chose the shop because it did not have CCTV.
Michael Sisson-Pell for Varley said although he was 20 that did not reflect his true level of maturity. He actually had a low IQ of about 70, a reading age of about 10 and spelling age of about seven.
He struggled to cope with life. He accepted it was his idea to go the shop but he intended at most only to use the bar to strike the complainant’s arm or shoulder and never intended the injury inflicted when the man turned his head.
Charlotte Eastwood for the teenager said he was shocked at what had happened and was terrified at the prospect of custody.
Varley, of Crimble Bank, Slaithwaite, admitted the robbery.
Jailing him Recorder David Dobbin said: “Having taken drink and drugs overnight you hatched a plan to rob a shop and chose this particular corner tobacco shop knowing it was not covered by CCTV.”
The 16-year-old who also admitted the offence was given an 18 month youth rehabilitation order with intensive supervision and surveillance, a three month electronic curfew from 8pm to 7am and an extended activity programme.