A GANG branded a “a pack of wild animals” who targeted a shopkeeper in a horror Christmas Eve attack have been locked up for a total of more than 18 years.

Darren Timothy, 19, Kieran Ruddy, 25, as well as two boys – aged 16 and 14 – pounced on Atiq Ur Rehman at his shop in Cumbernauld, North Lanarkshire last December.

Mr Rehman was stabbed three times and also suffered a fractured shoulder.

A judge said it was only the skill of a surgeon that saved the victim's life.

Former Clyde footballer Timothy was jailed for six and a half years after he admitted to an attempted murder charge.

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The 16 year-old was sentenced to five years and eight months following his guilty plea to the same crime.

The 14 year-old was locked up for four years after he also admitted trying to kill Mr Rehman.

Ruddy meantime was sentenced to two years and three months. He pled guilty to assaulting the shopkeeper by punching and kicking him.

Lord Mulholland said Mr Rehman had been “working hard” to earn a living and serve the local community.

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The judge added: “Any right minded person looking at the CCTV of the incident would be appalled and sickened at your actions.

“I said at the last hearing you acted like a pack of animals – I repeat that description today.

“Your behaviour was feral. He will be permanently scarred both physically and emotionally.

“You are lucky that he did not die.”