TWO masked 15-year-old boys who went into a Worcestershire off licence and fired a pellet gun at the shopkeeper before stealing drink and cigarettes have been sent into custody.

The pair carried out the raid at TCL in Evesham Street, Redditch, on January 8 this year at about 9pm, Worcester Crown Court heard. Both had their hoods up and hid their faces with balaclavas and bandanas, Rupert Jones, prosecuting, told the court.

Proprietor Mohammed Ikram was on his own and one of the boys pointed a BB airgun at him, shouting "What you got?" The other one then grabbed a bottle of vodka and the gun was fired twice, narrowly missing Mr Ikram with the first pellet and hitting him on the body with the second shot. They then took £250 in cash and some cigarettes and made their escape.Police later identified them by their clothing from CCTV footage.

Lee Egan, defending one of the boys, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said the shopkeeper had realised straight away the gun was not real and the element of fear was lessened in the offence.

Diljit Bachada, for the other boy, said he had not thought about what he was doing or the effect it would have on the shopkeeper. He had carried out the raid because he was short of money but his actions on that day were more of a sign that he needed help.

Recorder Stephen Campbell said it was a very sad case and they had pleaded guilty to two very serious charges of robbery and having an imitation firearm with intent to commit the offence.

He said they entered the shop at night in the hours of darkness and the shopkeeper was entirely on his own. They were disguised and had a gun which was not only used to instil fear but was fired twice. Luckily, the shopkeeper was not hurt but he was "absolutely terrified".

He said only a custodial sentence would be appropriate and gave one of the pair, who took the lead and carried the gun, a detention and training order of 18 months. The other boy was given a detention and training order of 12 months.

They were ordered to pay a total of £65, the cash found on them by police, which will go as compensation to Mr Ikram.