'Wrong house' burglar Shahid Rehman is jailed

A masked gunman has been jailed for 10 years for holding up a couple and their disabled son in a case of mistaken identity.

Shahid Rehman, 41, was with another armed accomplice when he burst into a house in Luton, wrongly believing drugs or cash was stored there.

The error led to a terrifying ordeal for the family, said Judge Marie Catterson at Luton Crown Court.

Rehman, from south west London, denied aggravated burglary.

He was convicted of the offence, which happened on 27 December 2009, by a jury in November last year.

'Appalling criminal record'

Judge Catterson said: "The incident lasted about 10 minutes but seemed much longer to them. Having a disabled son in bed upstairs added to their anxiety.

"It was an invasion of their home in a very, very frightening way."

The couple heard a knock at the door at about 23:00 GMT but the men burst in and told the woman to sit down or she would be "shot", said prosecutor Will Noble.

Realising there were no drugs or cash in the house the two robbers stole a wallet and cash card.

Closed circuit television images enabled police to use facial mapping and gait experts to identify Rehman. The other man has not been traced.

Ruth Jones, defending Rehman, said: "He has an appalling criminal record all of which is down to drug use. His family have tried to help him without success."

Judge Catterson told Rehman: "You represent a serious risk of harm to the public."

She said that to protect the public Rehman would be on licence for an additional five years on his eventual release from prison.

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