A MAN has been jailed after he ripped a pair of wireless headphones from a student’s ears as he walked through Bolton town centre.

Bolton Crown Court heard how Tashan Morris was in Deansgate, outside the Wilko store, at 2.45am on July 5 this year when he was surrounded by 22-year-old Hassanain Ghazi and two 16-year-old boys.

Zoe Dawson, prosecuting, said the trio demanded the frightened victim hand over his belongings and cash, warning him: “Give me your money or I’ll stab you up.”

She said: “His pockets were patted down and his phone was taken. Ghazi then leaned up to take the Apple AirPods which were in the complainant’s ears.”

The robbers appeared to walk away but then returned and were captured on CCTV talking to Mr Morris, which Ms Dawson said was them demanding access codes to his phone.

Police officers were quickly on the scene with Ghazi running one way and the two teenagers escaping in the opposite direction.

Ghazi, who appeared via videolink from HMP Doncaster, was seen to throw the phone away and it was later recovered, although the AirPods were never found.

All three were quickly arrested with Ghazi telling officers he had actually been trying to protect Mr Morris.

Ghazi’s co-accused both pleaded guilty to robbery when they appeared at Manchester Youth Court.

One was sentenced to detention for eight months and ordered to pay £125 in compensation while the other was ordered to pay £125 and referred to a youth offender panel for 12 months.

Ms Dawson added that Ghazi had one previous conviction for a public order offence.

Khairie Gedal, defending, said Ghazi, of Arnsize Grove, Bolton, was an Iraqi national and described him as a “troubled young man” who had experienced the loss of his father as a child after he died from the effects of chemical poisoning during the Iran-Iraq war.

His family had fled to Damascus in Syria where Ghazi sold bread on the streets.

When the Syrian civil war broke out in 2011 he had been forced to fend for himself and witnessed his best friend killed during a bomb attack.

In 2015, the family were able to come to the UK and Ghazi had done well at school initially but suffered from flashbacks and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and began smoking cannabis.

Mr Gedal added that Ghazi showed “sincere remorse”and was “very keen” to compensate his victim.

Sentencing Ghazi, who pleaded guilty to robbery, to two years and six months in prison, Recorder Ciaran Rankin said he did not accept he was “acting as some kind of peacemaker”.

“You were at the heart of this group robbery,” he said. “There is no evidence this incident would have finished unless the police officers had turned up.”