Man jailed for attack on city shopkeeper
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.