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Online Beer and Wine: Gun youth spared custody after bungled raid at shop
But today the identity of the teenager behind the bungled robbery attempt was revealed as Jack Phillips – after reporting restrictions previously keeping it hidden were lifted.
Phillips, who was 17 at the time of the offence, was fought off by shopkeeper Ranvir Bassi.
With the weapon pointed at her face and her seven-year-old daughter clinging to her skirt, Mrs Bassi, aged 35, refused to hand over money, pushed the gun away and chased the masked raider to the door of her shop in Stafford. But a judge at Stafford Crown Court has ruled that Phillips should be spared a custodial sentence – to the disgust of Mrs Bassi who said she was shocked he had not been put behind bars.
Under the Firearms Act anyone who uses a gun with intent should receive a custodial sentence – unless there are “exceptional circumstances”.
Recorder Michael Elsom said that Phillips’ age made it an exceptional case and that the mandatory period of three years in jail should not be imposed.
“If they had the advantage, as I have, of seeing the recording of what occurred, no-one who saw that can think it was anything other than a thoroughly frightening incident.
“Mrs Bassi behaved with extreme bravery – she didn’t know the gun you had in your hand was quite incapable of being fired.”
The judge ordered that Mrs Bassi be given a £500 reward for her bravery. She was shutting the shop 10 minutes early to visit her son Gurdip, aged eight, who was in hospital suffering from severe eczema, when Phillips stormed in at about 8.20pm.
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