A HOODED gang who attacked a shopkeeper after a terrifying late-night raid on a shop have been locked up for more than nine years.
Premier store owner Pathmanathan Kanndasmythurayi, 50, was viciously attacked after three robbers burst into his shop on Raby Road and tried to steal the till.
Dean Rowbotham, 24, and Dean Stallard, 25, attacked Mr Kanndasmythurayi by punching and kicking him to the floor while accomplice Darren Kinsella, 29, guarded the door.
All three wore gloves and tried to hide their faces under hoodies during the ordeal, which was captured on store CCTV cameras.
The shocking footage showed Rowbotham walk up and grab Mr Kanndasmythurayi while Stallard began to punch him.
Rachel Masters, prosecuting, at Teesside Crown Court, said: “Rowbotham grabbed hold of Mr Kanndasmythurayi around the neck and physically lifted him off the floor.
“Stallard went to the counter and threw punches at the man behind the counter.
“The victim went to the ground and was kicked by both Stallard and Rowbotham.
“Stallard was seen to stamp on the victim a number of times.”
Rowbotham, whose record is littered with violent offences, then threw Mr Kanndasmythurayi into a display unit.
The gang twice tried to grab the till from the counter where the victim’s cousin was standing.
He was also assaulted by Stallard during the robbery just after 10pm on February 13.
The gang eventually gave up and fled the store after grabbing lottery scratchcards and bottles of booze.
Police recognised Kinsella and Stallard from the CCTV, and Rowbotham left a palm print at the scene.
All three later pleaded guilty to robbery.
Luckily, Mr Kanndasmythurayi was not seriously hurt.
Rowbotham, of Colwyn Road, Hartlepool, who has a lengthy criminal record, was jailed for four years.
Jim Withyman, mitigating, said: “He is thoroughly ashamed of what he’s done and through me wished to apologise to the victims.”
He said Rowbotham’s offending was down to taking prescription drugs and drinking too much.
Rod Hunt, for Stallard, of Allerton Close, Hartlepool, said his client “hit the self destruct button” after a long-term relationship ended adding: “He realises he has behaved extremely badly and is deeply ashamed.”
Barrister Ian Mullarkey, for former construction worker Kinsella, who was less heavily convicted, submitted his client played a “peripheral role” adding: “This is totally out of character for him.
Stallard was jailed for three and a half years and Kinsella, of Milbank Road, Hartlepool, got two years prison.
The judge Recorder Sarah Mallett said: “When you watch that CCTV anybody can see it is a terrifying ordeal.
“There was sustained violence and constant aggression. You caused entirely unnecessary damage to the shop and used entirely unnecessary violence.
“It is fortunate the man’s injuries were relatively minor.
“It is a small shop providing a public service.
“Both members of staff were asaulted. It was a gang attack and I agree it was planned.”