A TEENAGER who carried out a terrifying gun raid on a Huddersfield newsagents when he was just 15 has been locked up.
And Judge Jonathan Rose voiced his concerns at the risks faced by shopkeepers, after the killing of Huddersfield man Gurmail Singh.
The boy was in court after admitting holding up Dinesh Joshi at gunpoint at his shop in Swan Lane, Lockwood.
Judge Rose told the boy: “You know because of where you live that last week a shopkeeper, vulnerable and exposed, was the subject of a robbery as a result of which he, seeking to defend himself and his business, tragically lost his life.
“Of course I am not going to sentence you because of what happened to him but that case illustrates how vulnerable the men and women who run these corners shops can be.”
The judge said such shops were highly valued by the local community, but some saw them as “soft targets”.
“This was a serious pre-planned robbery,” said Judge Rose.
The judge noted that it had not been a spur of the moment decision because the boy had reflected on it for three days before committing the offence.
He said the robbery was aggravated by the use of a balaclava mask, a hood and a realistic-looking firearm.
Shopkeeper Mr Joshi, 52, and his elderly mother Maniben, 76, both chased the teenager out of their shop in Swan Lane, Lockwood, after he came in wearing a balaclava mask and carrying what they thought was a knife.
Bradford Crown Court heard yesterday how it was only when the shop's CCTV footage was viewed that it was realised that the boy had been carrying an imitation handgun.
The boy took off his balaclava outside the premises following the raid last November and the court heard that he was traced because Mr Joshi vaguely knew the teenager's mother.
After hearing how Mr Joshi had hit the would-be robber with a stick during the early evening confrontation Judge Rose praised his courage and bravery.
The judge told the now 16-year-old that he had met his match in Mr Joshi.
“'He was a real man and you hid behind an mask and a weapon,” the judge told the boy, who cannot be identified for legal reasons.
The boy admitted being involved, but claimed he had been put up to it by another man.
The teenager said he feared being beaten up if he didn’t commit the robbery and said the man had given him the imitation handgun three days before.
The boy gave information about the weapon and police were able to recover it.
The youngster, who had previous convictions for theft from a person and common assault, admitted charges of robbery and possessing an imitation firearm with intent to rob.
His lawyer Neil Murphy said the teenager was aware of Gurmail Singh’s death and was conscious of the seriousness of the offence.
“He is deeply ashamed about his conduct, ” said Mr Murphy.
The teenager’s mother sat in the public gallery as he was sent to detention for three years.
Judge Rose said the boy had clearly come from a caring family but “rather than take your example from your mother you have taken your example from the street and from young men like you and that is why you are now here.”
Although he accepted the boy was young the judge said it had to be a significant custodial sentence to send a harsh message to those who cause fear and harm to shopkeepers that the courts would impose harsh sentences .