AN ARMED robber who held two women at gunpoint as he stole one of their cars was jailed for ten years for the “very serious and wicked offence”.

Junaid Ahmed, 21, of Midland Road, Frizinghall, Bradford, was found guilty unanimously by a jury at Bradford Crown Court for the armed robbery.

Mehran Ali, 25, of Harrogate Terrace, Undercliffe, was also found guilty of handling stolen goods, and sent to prison for four years.

Ahmed entered the Yorkshire Beauty School in Bradford Road, Shipley, on August 25, 2016, and held up the owner, Rachel Herar, and a customer, Molly Bairstow, with an imitation handgun. He demanded the keys to the black Audi S3 Quattro parked outside, before taking the keys from Ms Bairstow’s bag and making off in the vehicle.

Ali was arrested by armed police in Shipley three days later in the car, which had been fitted with fake registration plates stuck on with adhesive tape which bore the fingerprints of Ahmed.

He was with his mother, ten-year-old brother and 17-year-old cousin in the car, and said while giving evidence they had been on the way to a car boot sale in Yeadon when he was stopped by police.

Ahmed had six previous convictions for 17 offences, including aggravated vehicle taking in 2013 and three counts of handling stolen goods, which he was already in prison for during the trial. Ali had two previous convictions, including the retention of criminal property - a Range Rover - as a minor.

As a result of the incident, both victims have had to undergo cognitive behavioural therapy and Ms Herar has been forced to shut her business.

During sentencing, Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC said both women were “innocent and vulnerable” and had been put through “real trauma” by the incident.

He said: “This was not an opportunistic offence, it was an armed robbery deliberately targeting women in the salon.

“You walked past the car and went straight into the salon and straight up to the therapist who was giving a treatment.

“You angrily told them to give you the keys and pointed a gun at them that they thought was real, then too the keys and went straight outside.”

He told Ali he was the “intended recipient” of the car, and was driving it “blatantly and confidently” on false plates.

“You tried to lie your way out of this and I take a grievous view of those who receive property stolen in an armed robbery and I am utterly unpersuaded by any of the submissions you had no prior knowledge the car was stolen. You knew what you were doing.”

As the pair were sent to prison, a group of men sitting in the public gallery, believed to be friends or relatives of the pair, hurled abusive insults in the direction of Judge Durham Hall, who ordered one man to be arrested. The man was detained by a police officer, but later escaped from security officers before he could be brought before the court.