Shopkeeper victim of armed robbery thought gunmen were playing a prank


This is the terrifying moment masked gunmen robbed a shopkeeper – who thought it was a prank.

Robber Jason Wright, 23, pistol-whipped Bahvesh Patel while Zaydene Shahadat, 21, pointed a gun at his head and demanded his £5,000 Rolex.

But CCTV at the newsagents in Leicester captured the dramatic moments and cops arrested four lads a few days later.

The two robbers and their look-outs Sanchez Zampaladus, 29, and Judah Hunte, 30, all admitted robbery and were jailed for a combined total of 20 years at Leicester Crown Court.

Sentencing, Judge Mark Rogers said: ”This robbery was truly shocking.

”Let’s not lose sight of the impact on Mr Patel, who was providing a valuable service to the community.

”He was in relatively vulnerable circumstances without any real degree of protection or back up, apart from the CCTV coverage which has been invaluable in this case.

”What must he have felt when confronted with two armed masked men?

”It’s difficult to imagine a more frightening experience for someone in his position. I’ve no doubt he’ll live with that for a long time.”

The court heard how the group covered their faces with scarves during the robbery on June 29 last year.

Wright and Shahadat used an air-pistol and a blank-firing replica to terrify the shopkeeper while the other two kept watch outside.

The robbers demanded cash but made off with Bahvesh’s watch after he pressed a panic alarm.

Bahvesh suffered bruises and grazes to the top of his head from where he was hit with the pistol.

The gang failed to sell the watch to nearby jewellers and police found it when they raided Zampaladus’ house.

Speaking after the case, Bahvesh said: ”I was in the shop by one of the shelves and they came in and asked for the money.

”I thought they were joking  at first. I thought it was a prank and I laughed at them.

”They looked like kids fooling around with guns. But then they hit me on the head and I knew it was serious.

”I’d seen the gun already but that hadn’t affected me. I was in shock when they hit me with it.

”I’m pleased with the sentences they’ve received. The police made the arrests within a few days and I think they’ve got a great result very quickly.”

Gunman Shahdat, who demanded the watch, was jailed for seven years. Wright who pistol-whipped the shopkeeper and was jailed for five years at the hearing last Friday (09 July).

Lookouts Zampaladus and Hunte were jailed for four years each.

Detective Sergeant David Speight, who investigated the case for Leicestershire Constabulary, said: ”We’re pleased with these sentences, which send out a very clear and strong message to anyone thinking of committing this type of crime.”



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