Ehsan Hussain was one of a gang of four hooded and masked males that terrorised Bradford businessman, Tasawar Iqbal, Asian Image reported, when they attempted to rob the takings at The Premier Express in Wibsey Park Avenue, Bradford, on May 22, 2014.

Bradford Crown Court heard today that Mr Iqbal was cashing up at the store at 10.30pm, with a female staff member present, when he suffered the “dreadful and appalling” attack in which his right thumb was severed.

Prosecutor, Ken Green, said that Mr Iqbal was the hardworking owner of seven convenience stores in the Bradford area and had wanted to become a millionaire.

One of the gang launched a “frenzied attack” on Mr Iqbal with a wine bottle while another struck him several times with the machete as he bravely fought back.

The raiders fled empty-handed after just 30 seconds, Mr Green said.

Mr Iqbal’s thumb was reattached in hospital, but the procedure was unsuccessful, the court was told.

He hid the disfigurement by always wearing a glove and he was having to learn to write with his left hand.

Hussain, 23, of Peel Park View, Undercliffe, Bradford, was arrested on June 5, 2014.

Blood on his training shoes was a DNA match for Mr Iqbal and Hussain had a screenshot on his phone of a report in the Telegraph & Argus about the robbery bid.

There was also a photo on the phone of Hussain posing holding a machete.

He gave a ‘no reply’ interview to the police and was not rearrested for four years.

Mr Green said the officer in the case was off work for two years and the file was “overlooked.”

Hussain, who pleaded guilty to attempted robbery today, was not the man with the machete and did not strike Mr Iqbal with the wine bottle, Mr Green stated.

A victim impact statement from Mr Iqbal showed how 30 seconds had devastated his life.

Now in his early 40s, he was a family man who did fitness training and kick boxing.

The life changing injury had a massive effect on his self-confidence and had severely impacted on his family life and his business.

Hussain had since served a four year jail sentence for house burglary and he had been giving a police warning for robbery when he was a youth.

His solicitor advocate, Simon Hustler, conceded that the attack on Mr Iqbal was “hideous”.

Hussain apologised to Mr Iqbal through the court.

“If he could take back his part in the event, he would.

“Nothing about the circumstances of this case are lost on him,” Mr Hustler said.

Hussain had qualified as a barber while serving his burglary sentence and worked hard to support his family.

He was now ‘a completely different person’ from the 18-year-old who carried out the attempted robbery.

Judge Jonathan Rose described the violence used on Mr Iqbal as “dreadful and appalling.”

“It was a savage and barbaric attack on a shopkeeper trying to run his own business,” he said.

Judge Rose told Hussain: “Whether you carried the machete or not is neither here nor there.

“You went along, knowing it was there, and knowing it might be used.”

The judge conceded that Hussain had since turned his life around, saying it was “inexcusable” that the case had taken four years to be dealt with.

“You are a changed man Hussain, but so is Mr Iqbal,” he said.