South Shields shopkeeper unhappy with sentence for machete-wielding raider

Anne's Newsagents on New Green Street
Anne's Newsagents on New Green Street

A South Tyneside shopkeeper who thought he would die when a machete-wielding thug burst into his store fears the raider will ‘harm someone else’ when released from prison.

Robert Sweet was caged for two-and-a-half years after storming into Anne’s Newsagents, in New Green Street, South Shields, and threatening to kill store owner Farid Nawaz if he didn’t hand over cigarettes.

Robert Sweet

Robert Sweet

Mr Nawaz, who has run the store for five years, insists the 25-year-old’s jail term is not enough.

He said; “I am not happy with the verdict. He should’ve been given a lot more. He could be out in a year and will still be able to harm someone else.

“I am still frightened about what happened to me – it has given me sleepless nights.

“He was right here by the counter, he was very close to me – the machete was as long as my arm.

I thought I could die, he told me he would kill me.

Farid Nawaz

“I had seen him hanging around outside for a while and then he came in just like any other customer. Then he produced the machete.

“I thought I could die, he told me he would kill me.

“I believed him. He said he would do it and he hit the counter with the machete. The mark is still there.

“He said he was not asking for the cigarettes, he was telling me to give them to him.

“It was about 7.45pm, I was preparing to close up and was here by myself.

“He could’ve done anything, anything could’ve happened to me. I’m lucky to be alive.”

Sweet warned Mr Nawaz not to call police and told him he was the brother of Tipu Sultan, who was gunned down at the Herb & Spice Kitchen in Marsden just six days before the store raid on April 13.

Sweet, of Cobbett Street, South Shields, admitted robbery and having an offensive weapon at Newcastle Crown Court.