A DRUG addict who threatened a pharmacist with a knife, punched her and stole her car keys, has been jailed for three and a half years.

Abdul Ghaffar, 45, was described as "out of his head" when he approached the 60-year-old pharmacist who he had known for a number of years.

Bradford Crown Court heard how Ghaffar had regularly picked up a prescription to help in his treatment against class A drug addiction from the City Road pharmacy, though had stopped the month before.

On the evening of February 3, 2021, the prosecution outlined how the pharmacist had closed the store, and gone to her car in an alleyway, when Ghaffar approached her.

He initially asked for help, then demanded: "Give me your car keys, I want to drive your car."

When she refused, the court heard how he tried to grab her keys, and when she held on, he pulled out a knife.

"She was very scared so pushed the defendant causing him to fall backwards and tried to shut the door."

At this point he punched her in the face four or five times, she screamed for help and sounded the car horn.

He grabbed the car keys and ran off, while the pharmacist followed him and approached a group of young lads to help her.

They asked the defendant for the bunch of keys and he returned them, but the pharmacist noticed the car key was missing.

She approached the defendant personally and it was then that he returned the missing key.

The knife, which had been lying on floor by the car, was missing when she returned to the vehicle, the court was told. It was handed in to her the following day by an unnamed person.

In interview the defendant initially denied the attack and having a knife, saying he had approached the pharmacist because he was in a lot of pain and needed medication immediately.

He later pleaded guilty to making threats with a knife, theft and assault by beating and was jailed for 42 months.

Recorder Joanne Kidd said the victim had "displayed enormous courage" and had served the local community for 20 years as a pharmacist. This incident had also taken place at the height of the pandemic, she added.

In his defence, Ghaffar, of Archibald Street, Bradford, was said to have been without an interpreter initially and that his responses may have been somewhat "lost in translation".

They added that his life had taken a downward turn six of seven years ago when his wife left him and he was stopped from seeing his children. He began taking drugs, but had been attempting to deal with his addiction - although his "bizarre" behaviour on the day indicated he was "clearly under the influence of something".

He has now engaged with the Change Grow Live programme.

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