A WOULD-BE imam and another man said to have been part of a plot to rob a betting shop walked free from court after a judge branded them “idiots.”

Mohammad Abdul Ghafaar and Wajid Khan, now both 20, were said to have been captured on CCTV “staking out” Tote Sport in Moorgate, Bury, before it was targeted in an armed raid in September 2009, Burnley Crown Court had earlier been told.

Ghafaar, of Merton Street, and Khan, of Kent Street, both Burnley, had earlier admitted to conspiracy to rob the shop, between August 18th and September 2nd 2009. They had owned up during the second week of a recent trial. Neither had any previous convictions.

Ghafaar is said to regularly lead prayers at his local mosque as part of a team of imams and may one day become one himself. His barrister told the court how the defendant had now finished his Islamic training and was beginning to play a role in his community.

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