Man jailed for at­tack on city shop­keeper

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Hobson's Choice Extra - By KEN MCER­LAIN ken.mcer­lain@pe­ter­bor­oughto­day

A SHOP owner who was badly in­jured af­ter be­ing re­peat­edly punched dur­ing an at­tempted rob­bery says he is “happy” with the four-year jail sen­tence given to his at­tacker.

Ashaq Jaf­frie needed hospi­tal treat­ment af­ter be­ing punched in the face sev­eral times by Vil­nis Tolens at the Alexan­dra News store in Alexan­dra Road, Peter­bor­ough, on March 11.

Mr Jaf­frie (24) suf­fered a bro­ken nose, cheek­bone and teeth, as well as bruis­ing and cuts to his face. He was also left with a swollen eye and bruised lips.

Tolens (28), a Lithua­nian, of no fixed abode, was jailed for four years at Peter­bor­ough Crown Court on Mon­day, hav­ing pleaded guilty to at­tempted rob­bery and as­sault.

Tolens was ar­rested af­ter be­ing cap­tured on CCTV cam­era at the store.

While sen­tenc­ing, Judge Nic Madge said: “This was a par­tic­u­larly nasty, vi­cious at­tack.

“You com­mit­ted the of­fence late at night and tar­geted a vul­ner­a­ble vic­tim who was work­ing on his own. I have no other op­tion but cus­tody.”

Mr Jaf­frie, who has run the store for just over two years, says he is un­able to work there alone fol­low­ing his or­deal.

He said: “What hap­pened was hor­ri­ble, I was put through a lot of pain and I wouldn’t wish it on any­one.

“I am happy that Tolens has been jailed for four years – you should be given prison for some­thing like this.

“It has had a big ef­fect on me and has re­ally shaken my con­fi­dence.

“I can no longer work in the store on my own and some­times when a cus­tomer comes in the door I au­to­mat­i­cally fear the worst.”

Mr Jaf­frie was work­ing alone in the store at around mid­night when Tolens en­tered the shop with an­other man.

Re­call­ing the in­ci­dent, Mr Jaf­frie said: “One of them came over and asked me if we sold jam jars.

“This meant that I left the counter and came out into the shop to show them where the jam jars are.

“At that point Tolens hit me from be­hind on the back of my head. I fell to the floor in a lot of pain and feel­ing dazed.

“I think I was hit some more times while I was on the floor and I started scream­ing.

“At this point the two of them de­cided to leave the shop and they ran off along Lin­coln Road.

“I was able to call the po­lice and am­bu­lance ser­vice who came very quickly.

“I was taken to hospi­tal and had to stay there overnight for treat­ment, I was in pain and wor­ried that my in­juries would be per­ma­nent.”

Mr Jaf­frie re­turned to work af­ter spend­ing a week re­cov­er­ing from his in­juries.

He says that most of his in­juries have healed ex­cept that he re­quires fur­ther treat­ment to his nose.

Vil­nis Tolens who was jailed for four years for at­tempted rob­bery and as­sault at Alexan­dra News store.

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