A social club stalwart who had a gun held to his head in a terrifying robbery has told how he feared his life was over.
But Victor Squires dismissed crook Shane Henriques, who left crucial evidence behind, as “young and foolish”.
Mr Squires, 69, was delivering nearly £1,800 in takings from Richmond Hill Social Club to the bank when he was robbed by Henriques.
The 24-year-old, of Grange Close, dropped his hat nearby and later handed himself in to police.
He was locked up for five years and four months last week.
Speaking for the first time since the incident, Mr Squires said: “I feel no bitterness towards him. In a way I feel sorry for him.
“He was young and foolish.”
Mr Squires, who is treasurer at the Railway Street club where he has been a member for 20 years, had picked up the weekend’s takings and called a taxi when the incident happened on the morning of Monday, July 21.
Henriques, who was masked and had been hiding in a bush outside the Railway Street club, pounced as he was about to get in the taxi.
“He pointed the gun at me and told me: ‘Give me the f***ing money’,” Mr Squires said.
“I panicked and threw the envelope into the taxi. The driver got out and ran off.
“It was terrifying – I thought I was going to die. He took the money and ran off.
“I chased himn for a bit but he lost me.”
Leeds Crown Court heard Henriques used a gun to steal a briefcase containing cash from a woman who had emptied gaming machines at the club in another incident five days earlier.
He fired the gun – which discharged blank cartridges – into the ground as he was chased by witnesses.
He had handed himself in at Elland Road police station days after robbing Mr Squires and pleaded guilty to robbery, theft and possessing a firearm.
Mr Squires said he was still recovering from the trauma of the incident but insisted he would carry on serving the club.
“I won’t let it stop me,” he added.