'Ocean's Eleven' supermarket robbery planner jailed

A MAN who wrote detailed plans for a shop robbery has been jailed for five years.

But Masum Miah, 18, claimed the document was not part of a conspiracy but a film script he had written about a heist in Todmorden after watching the movie, Ocean's Eleven.

Miah, of Byrom Street, Todmorden, was convicted of conspiracy to rob following a two-day trial at Bradford Crown Court in September.

He pleaded guilty to possessing controlled drugs.

The court heard that on June 2 he was stopped and searched by police after leaving the One Stop Shop in Todmorden.

Giles Bridge, prosecuting, said he was seen walking towards a car but when he realised that officers were talking to the occupants of the vehicle he did a U-turn.

When he was searched, cocaine was found in his sock.

His house was then searched with a view to discovering more drugs but instead police found detailed plans to rob the One Stop Shop.

Mr Bridge said: "It was to be a three-man job which involved observing a member of staff leaving the rear exit."

The employee would then walk to the Post Office and bank the day's takings which could have been up to 4,000.

The plans included details of how the robbery would be carried out and involved instructions about what clothing should be worn.

It also showed that Miah had watched the shop's employees and scouted the area for security cameras.

When Miah's room was searched again, dark clothing and a printer cartridge were found.

Judge Christopher Prince said when the cartridge was disguised it could easily have been taken to be a firearm, possibly a "sawn-off shotgun".

In police interview, Miah denied writing the plans, and suggested a friend may have been responsible.

But, when the plans were analysed by a handwriting expert, they were found conclusively to have been written by him.

Mr Bridge said: "The defendant gave evidence at trial that Ocean's Eleven was the inspiration for him to write a heist movie based in Todmorden."

The court heard Miah had previous convictions for offences of theft, possessing drugs, burglary, breaching court orders, handling stolen goods, dangerous driving and other traffic offences.

Alan Bridger, for Miah, said: "There is really no evidence that the planned robbery was about to take effect.

"No date was given in the plans."

Judge Prince said: "This was a well-thought out plan."

He said it targeted a known female member of staff and he said he had no doubt the cartridge would have been used to terrify her.

Lesley Collier, manager of the One Stop Shop, said the robbery would have traumatised staff if it had gone ahead. She said: "It was just by chance that this got found out. The staff were worried when we heard about it.

"Since then we have changed the way we bank the takings."