Burkarobbers' brothers jailed

Issue 483

TWO BROTHERS have been jailed over a failed robbery in which a man dressed in a burka tried to raid a Batley jewellers.
Bilal Mahmood, 22, of Benny Parr Close, Soothill, was given three years in prison after admitting conspiracy to rob.
Eighteenyearold brother Waqar Mahmood, of the same address, was sent to a young offenders’ institution for two years.
A court heard the pair took part in a plot to rob Asad Jewellers on Purlwell Lane, Batley, at around 1pm on August 25 last year.
Waqar Mahmood, who bought a ring at the shop the previous day, had returned with it and ‘timed’ his exit so a wouldbe robber could get in through a locked security door as he left.
The male suspect, who is still at large, was dressed in a burka and jumped over the counter to attack shop owner Mohammed Younis.
He had masking tape and ties in a woman’s handbag, but Mr Younis was able to press an alarm button before the raiser could truss him up.
The robber fled emptyhanded, leaving the handbag behind. Police found bin liners in the bag and Bilal Mahmood’s fingerprints were on one of them.
Freddy Apfel, for Bilal Mahmood, said his client had earlier been asked by a friend to deliver some drugs.
These were left in a car which was then stolen, leaving Bilal Mahmood at the mercy of dealers who wanted the £8,000 value of the drugs back.
The robbery was suggested as a way to pay the debt. Bilal Mahmood involved his brother but then got cold feet and did not go.
Waqar Mahmood denied involvement but was convicted by a jury earlier this year. He was a promising footballer who once had trials with Celtic.
Recorder Mark Cran QC sentenced the brothers at Leeds Crown Court and passed a jail sentence on Bilal Mahmood despite mitigation that he now has cancer and is having chemotherapy.

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