Two Leyland brothers who held terrified shop workers at gunpoint as they raided a town newsagent have now been put behind bars.
Karl Devlin, 27, and his older brother Stephen, 38, both from Dunkirk Lane, burst into the Parmar News shop on Leyland Lane brandishing handguns on New Year’s Eve.
The pair, wearing balaclavas, demanded money from two members of staff as they threatened them at around 6.30pm, before making off in a getaway vehicle with £340 in cash.
The brothers and a third man, who drove the getaway car, pleaded guilty to offences relating to the incident and were handed prison sentences at Preston Crown Court.
Karl Devlin will be locked up for three years and seven months, Stephen Devlin must serve four years and two months, and their accomplice, Mustafa Hussain, 31, from William Henry Street in Preston, was handed a two year and three month prison sentence.
But Arun Parmar, whose family runs the Leyland store, said that does not feel like justice for his staff, who were left petrified by the incident.
He told the Guardian: “They were putting people’s lives at risk – it’s as simple as that.
“They deserve to be locked up, but it should have been for longer.
“My staff still think about it and they’re always on their guard now, they’re very wary, but they are back at work and trying to move on.
“It’s frustrating that things like this can happen.
“Hopefully it is a one-off.”
He said the family had never experienced anything else like it in the 20 years they have owned the shop.
Thanking the public for their assistance in the investigation, Detective Constable Carl Matthews added: “A quick response from officers identified witnesses which ultimately led to the arrest on the night of Mustafa Hussain and Karl Devlin, and police searches located the weapons used in the offence along with the stolen cash.
“Stephen Devlin was arrested the following day.”
He added that police were keen to solve the case, as the offence had caused particular “distress” to the shop workers on duty that night.