By Paul Thornton
A DOPEY squaddie who tried to hold up a petrol station but ended up getting locked in has been jailed.
Former soldier Allan Stevenson, 27, pulled a knife on an attendant at the Shell garage before demanding cash.
When the masked attacker couldn’t open the till, he ordered worker Rama Pulla through to the cash office.
But quick-witted Rama bolted the door and activated the remote locking meaning Stevenson was unable to escape.
The ex-army man, who left three years ago, then used a fire extinguisher to try and smash his way out, before cops arrived and arrested him.
Despite the set-back the determined thief tried to smash his way out of the Seafield Road garage in Edinburgh with a fire extinguisher.
Yesterday at Edinburgh Sheriff Court, Stevenson was sentenced to 13 months behind bars.
Fiscal depute, Siobhan Monks, told the court: “At 10.45pm Mr Pulla was working on his own at the garage.
“He looked out to the forecourt and saw accused, there was no one else in the shop at the time.
“The accused’s head was covered by a hooded top and a baseball cap and his face was masked.”
Miss Monks said the terrified worker tried to lock the door with a remote system but Stevenson barged in, with the safety measure actually caging Pulla in with his attacker.
A passing carload of customers called cops after seeing the commotion and Stevenson was arrested.
Miss Monks added: “When he saw the police he realised there was no escape and started pacing up and down.
“The police made him pass the knife out of a hole in the front door panel which he had made with the fire extinguisher and then forced entry.”
After the bungled robbery, which was caught on CCTV, he made a full confession to cops at the city’s St Leonard’s police station.
His defence solicitor, Paul Dunne, said Stevenson needed the money to visit his daughter in Germany.
He said: “The crime was one of desperation.”
Sheriff Morrison said despite this being his first offence he had to send Stevenson to jail.
He was sentenced to 13 months.