By Staff Reporter
A ZIMBABWEAN man based in the United Kingdom (UK), Munashe Chikomba (23), has been handed a 30-month sentence after pleading guilty to attempted robbery to clear his £1 000 debts.
The crime happened last March.
Chikomba of Cardigan Road, Headingley, Leeds was facing two charges of having knives in public and one of having a hammer as an offensive weapon.
However, a brave village store owner foiled his robbery, the York Crown Court heard.
Jeremy Barton, prosecuting, said the police found a third weapon and a balaclava in Chikomba’s vehicle when they stopped him later.
When the robber showed the hammer and knife to the family store owner in a small North Yorkshire village, the shopkeeper first tried to treat it as a joke and then rang the police.
Chikomba told him not to calls the cops before fleeing empty-handed.
The shopkeeper now feels unsafe in the shop, which two generations of his family have run for 26 years.
“I am now really worried about the future,” he said in a police statement. “It has shaken me so much.”
Defence barrister Khadim Al’Hassan said the would-be robber had gone for a drive to “clear his mind” because he had mental health problems and decided to do something to clear his £1,000 debts.
Al-Hassan said Chikomba, who had no previous convictions, had behaved completely out of character.
He had been kidnapped as a child in Zimbabwe before following his parents to Britain.
In the UK, he had done charity work for his community and had also self-harmed.
At the time of the failed raid on Summerbridge Stores in Summerbridge near Harrogate, on March 27, he had been suffering from a depressive disorder.
He was very remorseful for his actions.
Barton said Chikomba wore his hood up and a snood covering the lower part of his face during the raid.
A woman customer was in the store when the robber walked in and told the shopkeeper to “open it” meaning the till. But the shopkeeper refused.