Gun aimed at friends during double-cross drugs deal

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A TEENAGE robber from Sheffield has been locked up for more than two years after he pulled a gun on a group of friends and made off with their money in a scam drugs deal.

Mickhel Brain, aged 19, of Hanson Road, Loxley, pointed a handgun at the pals after they met him to buy cannabis at a bus stop near Chaucer College, in Parson Cross.

Sheffield Crown Court heard Brain gave them a bag of dried leaves rather than real drugs, then demanded the group hand over more than £500.

He was charged with possessing an imitation weapon rather than a real gun because he dumped the firearm afterwards. But the court heard his victims thought the gun was genuine and that it looked like ‘what you would see in a cowboy film’.

Elizabeth Martin, prosecuting, said witness Soroush Azaria was at home with two friends on the day of the robbery last September when they decided they wanted to buy cannabis.

“Various phone calls were made, and the witnesses pooled their money, which accumulated to £510. Contact was made with the defendant, who seemed to be the likely candidate for someone who could get cannabis.”

Miss Martin said Mr Azaria and his friends arranged to buy three ounces of cannabis, and went to the meeting place in Parson Cross at around 6pm, where Brain gave them the bogus drugs.

“He put on a single glove and all of a sudden pulled a black handgun from the waistband of his trousers.

“He pointed the gun towards the complainant and demanded that he give him the money.”

Miss Martin said Brain told the witnesses to run after the cash was handed over.

“The complainant refers to it being a real gun,” she told the court. “He said it was similar to what you would see in a cowboy film.”

Errol Ballentyne, defending, said Brain had found himself in the wrong company and was deeply ashamed of his behaviour.

Mr Ballentyne said Brain’s father, present at court, was a rehabilitated drug addict who now works as a development officer with the Sheffield Drug and Alcohol Team.

Brain had no previous convictions, but was cautioned last April for supplying cannabis.

He admitted robbery and possessing an imitation firearm.

Sentencing him to two-and-a-half years in a young offenders’ institution, Judge Alan Goldsack QC said: “Your father had difficulties with drugs and served in prison but has now turned his life around completely. I’ve no doubt at all that you have the capacity to do that.”