Knifeman who held blade to woman's throat in pharmacy raid jailed for three years

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Sean Cousins Sean Cousins

A shop robber who threatened two terrified women with a ten-inch bladed knife made a chilling boast that the crime was “easy” and next time he would not be so scared.

Sean Cousins was jailed for three years and four months after plundering up to £200 from the till at Siddique Pharmacy, in Great Horton Road, Bradford, after dark on November 24 last year.

Cousins, 34, of Rycroft Avenue, Cottingley, Bingley, pointed the knife at the throat of shop assistant Sanobar Khan and waved it at pregnant pharmacist Shazia Nazmeen, Bradford Crown Court heard yesterday.

Prosecutor Shamaila Qureshi said Mrs Khan was using a vacuum cleaner in the pharmacy at 9pm when Cousins came in.

There were no customers in the shop and he left after inspecting baby items and asking about prescriptions.

About three minutes later, he returned and pursued Mrs Khan behind the counter.

He pulled out a large knife with a serrated blade, pointed it at her throat and repeatedly demanded money from the till.

Mrs Nazmeen, who was working in the pharmacy at the back of the shop, heard Mrs Khan scream and Cousins shouting at her to hand over the cash.

Mrs Nazmeen pressed the silent panic alarm as Cousins grabbed banknotes from the till.

Cousins waved the knife at Mrs Nazmeen before running from the shop.

Miss Qureshi said both women were very badly shaken.

Cousins handed himself in at Trafalgar House Police Station shortly before midnight that day, saying he was wanted for robbery.

While he was being booked into custody, he told officers: “I was scared at first but it was quite easy to do, so next time I won’t be as scared when I do it.”

Cousins made no comment when questioned but pleaded guilty to robbery when he appeared in court.

His barrister Stephen Wood said his client exaggerated to boost his self esteem.

He had 17 previous convictions but none for violent crime, except for one offence of arson committed when he was 16.

Judge David Hatton QC said Cousins terrified his women victims after targeting a small shop providing a service to the public at night.

Jailing him, the judge told Cousins: “The use of knives in the commission of offences cannot be tolerated,” he said.

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