Failed hammer raider caged for three years

Bungling robber Karl Fearnley
Bungling robber Karl Fearnley
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A BUNGLING armed raider, who fled a shop empty-handed after finding the till was screwed to the counter, has been jailed for three years.

Armed with a hammer and wearing a mask, Karl Fearnley had with an accomplice burst into the grocery store in Bag Lane, Atherton, on April 18.

Fearnley, who was the subject of a suspended prison sentence at the time, banged the hammer on the counter and the raiders shouted “give us the till” at owner Khalil Qasim and his wife Rukhsana, said Joe Allman, prosecuting.

The terrified couple, who had only opened the premises 12 days earlier, refused and the men tried to grab the till but it was screwed down. The couple’s son, Wajid Ali, came down into the store and the would-be robbers fled. Mr Qasim and his son gave chase but lost them after they reached Cross Street.

However, 23-year-old Fearnley was tracked down because he had left his fingerprints.

Fearnley, of Birchfield Avenue, Atherton, admitted attempted robbery, possessing an offensive weapon and being in breach of an eight-month jail sentence imposed for assault.

Defending, Duncan Phillips said Fearnley accepted he was in an extremely serious position. He has drug and alcohol problems but did not intend to harm anyone.