Victim snapped photo of Leeds street robber

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A robber who threatened to kill a man with an iron bar was caught when the victim refused to hand over cash...and instead took a photo of his attacker.

A court heard Mohammed Ghani fled after the victim bravely stood up to him despite repeated threats that he would be struck by the weapon.

Michael Greenhalgh, prosecuting, told Leeds Crown Court how Ghani, 37, approached the man at a cash machine at a BP garage on Dewsbury Road, Beeston.

Ghani said to the victim after he had withdrawn £30 from the machine: “Give me the money or I will kill you.”

The victim refused to give Ghani any money during the incident and then followed him when he ran away.

Ghani did not realise he was being pursued and went to a bus stop.

The victim then managed to take a close-up photograph of Ghani using his mobile phone on May 21 last year.

The image was handed to police who went to Ghani’s home and forced entry.

Officers seized a barbell from a dumbbells set which had been used to threaten the victim.

Ghani was not at the property at the time but was arrested two days later and admitted the offence.

He told officers he had smoked some “bad cannabis” shortly before the incident and said voices in his head had told him to commit the offence.

The court heard he has previous convictions for violence, theft and criminal damage.

He also has convictions for threatening behaviour, failing to surrender to custody and perverting the course of justice.

Ghani, of Clovelly Row, Beeston, pleaded guilty to attempted robbery.

The court heard Ghani has been assessed as suffering from a psychotic disorder.

Graham Parkin, mitigating, said Ghani had pleaded guilty to the offence at an early stage.

Mr Parkin said there was a bed available for Ghani at a psychiatric centre where he could continue to receive treatment for his condition.

Judge Geoffrey Marson, QC, ordered that Ghani be made the subject of hospital order under the Mental Health Act.

He said: “This was a very unpleasant thing to do to this perfectly innocent bystander.

“But I have read all the reports on you and I am perfectly satisfied that you have mental health difficulties that require help rather than punishment.

“It seems to me that this is the best way to protect the public in this case.”