Drunken teenager pointed 'curved foot-long sword' at baby during terrifying shop attack

Bolton Crown Court

Bolton Crown Court

First published in News Bury Times: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

AN eight-month-old boy and his shopkeeper parents had a machete pointed at them by a drunken teenager at a Bury off-licence, a court heard.

Luke Hodgson went into Booze Box in Bolton Road on June 3 at about 9.30pm without any money, and asked Sohail Dar, whether he could take a two-litre bottle of cider and a packet of cigarettes in return for his phone while he returned with some cash.

And after 20 minutes of “heated discussion”, Mr Dar, who was who was with his wife Amila, her father and their eight-month-old son, agreed to the request.

However, the 18-year-old returned with a woman who claimed the phone was hers, and demanded that it be returned to her.

Hodgson then pulled the machete from his trousers, and pointed it at Mr and Mrs Dar and “within striking distance” of their eight-month-old son.

Hodgson and the woman left after Mrs Dar handed over the phone.

Mr Dar told Hodgson that he had CCTV installed which was recording proceedings, but the court heard that he told Mr Dar that he did not care.

Hodgson, who pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing, was sentenced to two years in a young offenders’ institution at Bolton Crown Court.

The court was also told that Hodgson was drunk at the time of the incident, and that he became “extremely abusive” towards police when he was later arrested.

Mr Dar described the weapon as a “curved foot-long sword”.

Hodgson, of Knight Street, Bury, was already on bail at the time of the incident.

He has previously been convicted of a string of offences including drink-driving, possessing a BB gun in a public place, common assault and battery.

The court was told that Hodgson was paranoid about his safety, and that he believed he was being targeted, so was carrying a weapon to protect himself.

Judge Timothy Stead said: “I find it difficult to think of a worse case of this kind that I have encountered.

"The weapon you threatened with was a wicked-looking weapon. You did it at night-time and you did it in a shop where people were trying to make their living.

“You also did it in very close proximity to a mother and her infant.”

Judge Stead told the court that Hodgson could have been charged with blackmail, an offence which carries a maximum of 14 years, as opposed to the maximum of four years which a charge of possession of a bladed article carries.

He added: “It seems to me that the Crown Prosecution Service could have charged you with a much more serious offence. I can only sentence the defendant for the crimes for which he has been convicted.”

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