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Denholme leader of of Keighley house raid gang is jailed
An armed robber has been jailed for ten years for a terrifying gang raid on a family in their own home.
Fruit importer Mohammed Anwar suffered a heart attack when four masked men burst into the house in Redcliffe Street, Keighley, at 10.30pm on April 15.
Yesterday, gang leader Mohammed Karim, who struck Mr Anwar’s 21-year-old daughter, Hummna, on the head with a stick, was labelled a thug by Judge Peter Benson who sentenced him at Bradford Crown Court.
Karim, 26, of Longhouse Drive, Denholme, was convicted last month after a trial accused of robbery and having an offensive weapon.
Prosecutor John Topham told the jury the shock of the armed robbery gave Mr Anwar a mild heart attack.
He was at home with his wife and five children, the youngest aged ten, when the gang, wearing balaclavas, rushed in armed with sticks and metal poles.
They stole two mobile phones and car, van and house keys.
The court heard Karim was recruited by another man to terrorise the family over an alleged £15,000 debt, run up when imported grapes went rotten.
Threatening phone calls were made to the house and Mr Anwar was forced to change his number.
When Karim was arrested two days after the robbery, a bag was found at his home containing property stolen from the family.
Mr Topham told the court that Karim was in breach of a five month suspended jail sentence for breaking the conditions of a non-molestation order.
His barrister, Gillian Batts, said the robbery was short-lived, over in a matter of minutes.
There was no significant or sustained violence, the court heard.
She said that Karim received an excellent upbringing but he lost his way as a teenager.
He had been a hard-working businessman but fell into bad company.
Judge Benson told Karim he fully participated in the “wicked” robbery.
“It was a disgraceful piece of conduct. It must have been alarming in the extreme for that young family to be confronted by a bunch of thugs, in which you appear to have played a leading role,” the judge said.
Karim was an intelligent and articulate young man with the support of a highly-respectable and hard-working family, the court heard.
“You have time to make them proud of you,” Judge Benson told him.