a ROBBER held a knife to a shopkeeper’s throat while on bail over a plot to smuggle £17,000 worth of heroin secreted in pan lids into Britain, a court heard.
Stephen Parkinson, 33, struck at family-run Parker Newsagents on Lower Warrengate with a five-inch serrated blade after being arrested over the drugs plot.
Leeds Crown Court heard how 341g of heroin was concealed in a consignment of kitchen utensils sent from Pakistan.
But the packages were intercepted by Border Agency officials at Heathrow Airport in December 2010.
The drugs, which were destined for Wakefield, were found in drill holes of the pan lids.
Prosecutor Nick Dry said the drugs were seized but a dummy package was sent to the original address in Arncliffe Road, Eastmoor in an undercover police operation.
It was sent to the home address of Parkinson but the contact details were for a man called “Safraz Hussain” who turned out to be Abdul Kayoom, 26, of College Grove.
A delivery driver spoke to Kayoom on the phone and then Parkinson collected the dummy package.
Police swooped after Kayoom drove up and took charge of one of the boxes.
Mr Dry said Parkinson then went on to commit the robbery at Parker Newsagents on March 25 this year.
He demanded money and put the knife to owner John Parker’s neck. Parkinson then tried to wrench the till from the counter but Mr Parker hit the panic button.
Parkinson grabbed the newsagent and turned him upside down before dropping him face first on the floor, causing “nasty injuries” to his head and nose.
Parkinson ran off with the till but was arrested soon after.
Parkinson and Kayoom both admitted being knowingly concerned in the fraudulent evasion on the importing of heroin. Parkinson also admitted robbery.
Simon Batiste, for Parkinson, described his client as a “classic stooge” in the drugs case and said he had shown immediate remorse for his robbery victim.
Simon Myers, for Kayoom said his client had no previous convictions and only became involved at a low level after being threatened after getting into debt.
Recorder Tom Bayliss QC jailed Parkinson for a total of seven years and Kayoom for three-and-a-half years.