The son of Islamist cleric Abu Hamza turned to crime after being shunned by schoolmates because of his father’s notoriety, a court was told.
Norwich Crown Court heard that Imran Mostafa, 20, was sucked into offending because he had been isolated from mainstream society as parents warned their children to stay away from him.
Mostafa was part of a gang who used a handgun and sledgehammer in a “sophisticated and well planned” raid at a store in King’s Lynn on January 31 when gems worth about £70,000 were stolen.
As he was jailed yesterday for his part in a robbery in Norfolk, Mostafa’s barrister told how he had a “normal relationship” with his father until the age of 11 when Hamza was jailed.
But Roderick Price said: “He became more and more isolated and his social life became centred around his family. Friendships proved difficult because children would be told by their parents not to play with him.”
Since being remanded in custody over the offence, he was placed in segregation because of the identity of his father.
Mr Price said Mostafa had been hit hard by Hamza’s recent extradition to the US, adding: “He knows he will never see his father again. This is very hard for him because his father treated him in an entirely normal way as a son.”
Prosecutor Ian James said the robbery was captured on CCTV and showed one of the robbers waving a handgun.
He said: “Some kind of smoke producing device was set off causing the attention of the public to be diverted to the van they used and shielding from public view the identity of those involved.
“For those who had the misfortune to be working in the premises it must have been an absolutely terrifying experience.”
Mostafa, of Deverills Way, Slough, had denied robbery and possessing a firearm with intent to commit an offence along with Jonathan Abdul, 18, from London but both were convicted after a trial in September.
Yesterday they were sentenced alongside Ossama Hamed, 19, of Greswell Street in Fulham and Ahmed Ahmed, 20, of Nag’s Head Road in Enfield, who had previously admitted the same charges.
Passing sentence, judge Peter Jacobs said: “This was plainly a terrifying robbery. Staff were praying that they would not be shot and they continue to suffer trauma.”
Mostafa, who looked relaxed and wore a grey tracksuit with the initials of USA Track and Field across it in court, was jailed for 11 years. Abdul will serve 11 years in a youth offenders institute, Hamed will serve eight years and three months and Ahmed seven years and four months.
The judge had ordered that details of Mostafa’s parentage should not be reported until the jury had reached its verdict.
Hamza last month pleaded not guilty to terror charges in a New York court following his extradition from the UK. He denies charges that he conspired with US nationals to set up a terrorist training camp in the state of Oregon. He will stand trial next August and will also face charges of abducting tourists in Yemen.
Outside court, Mostafa’s solicitor Aseem Taj read a statement. In it, Mostafa sent a message to his father, saying: “I will love you always.” He apologised to the victims of the robbery but claimed he was the victim of a conspiracy.
He said: “I feel that this is a plot against my father, myself and my family. They’ve locked me up for something I did not do, all because of the conspiracy against my father and his beliefs.
“Me and my family have been subjected to a witch hunt and everybody seems to forget the simple fact that we are humans and have feelings just like you and your children.”