A pair of teenage robbers who shot a taxi driver and a newsagent in the face with a BB gun apologised to their victims saying they "desperately needed cannabis".

The 16-year-olds, who cannot be named due to legal reasons, carried out two robberies in Liverpool in October last year, leaving a newsagent with a pellet embedded in his face for weeks.

Then, just two days later, they robbed a taxi driver of his takings after shooting him twice in the head with the gas-powered BB gun.

Liverpool Crown Court heard that the teenager who fired the gun on both occasions wrote a letter of apology while on remand, which stated: "I desperately needed cannabis as I am a heavy user and I desperately needed drugs."

The pair pleaded guilty to two counts of robbery, two of possession of a firearm with intent and two of wounding without intent, reported the Liverpool Echo.

The teenager that pulled the trigger, from Kirkdale, was jailed for four years and eight months, while the other boy, from Everton, received a four-year term, both sentences will be served at a Youth Offenders Institution.

The court heard that Suntharam Rajendiran was working at the Prakash Superstore, on County Road, Walton, on 21 October, when he was shot at point-blank range twice by the tearaways.

CCTV showed that Rajendiran, 57, was working alone and had already opened the till when the shots were fired at around 9.30pm.

Rajendiran had to have one pellet removed from near his lip and a month later had a pellet, that was embedded near his nose, removed in an operation.

Two days later, taxi driver Musleh Uddin was shot twice in the head and robbed of £100 of his takings after giving the pair a lift to Anfield from Alder Hay.

Chris Hopkins, prosecuting, said according to the Echo: "He heard a loud crack and felt a blow to his head and then another to his right eye. He turned around and saw one of the youths had a gun."

The court was told that the boys were linked to the scene by CCTV and fingerprints found on the till tray of the car.