Thieves attacked and robbed businessman in ‘chilling’ ambush

Sheriff Lindsay Wood reprimanded Mahmoud Ghafour, 33, and Daniel Duffy, 21, for pouncing on their victim in Glasgow.

A sheriff described the assault and robbery of a businessman “one of the most chilling things” he has ever seen.

Sheriff Lindsay Wood reprimanded Mahmoud Ghafour, 33, and Daniel Duffy, 21, for pouncing on Jonathan Norris last November.

Mr Norris was ambushed at 4am on Glasgow’s Sauchiehall Street by the pair and two other unidentified men.

The 47-year-old had his watch, mobile phone and £200 in cash stolen in the ordeal.

Glasgow Sheriff Court was shown CCTV of the assault and Mr Norris limping away at the end of the 14-minute footage.

Sheriff Wood said: “I have been doing this for a long time and this was one of the most chilling things I have ever seen.

“I have read the victim impact statement and that man may never be the same again.

“You chased him, not just punched him, but you chased him and that must have been terrifying and you two are responsible.

“This was at the top line of serious.”

The court heard Mr Norris, who was on a business trip, got lost after being on a night out in the city centre.

He was approached by the group, chatted to them and became “increasingly uneasy” and “uncomfortable”, then they demanded money. 

Prosecutor Mark Allan told the court the group made threats to kill Mr Norris.

He tried to flee and was pursued to a nearby taxi rank near the Garage nightclub. 

Mr Allan said: “Mr Norris was punched, kicked and frogmarched to a cash machine where it was demanded that he withdraw money.”

The group seized £200 as well as Mr Norris’ mobile phone and watch, before fleeing the scene.

Two passers-by comforted Mr Norris and dialled 999.

Ghafour and Duffy were found nearby and arrested. 

Ghafour, an asylum seeker from Egypt, and Duffy pleaded guilty on Friday to assault and robbery.

Sentence was deferred until next month for background reports by Sheriff Wood, who remanded Ghafour and Duffy in custody meantime.