By Kevin Duguid
A ROBBER held a gift shop worker up at knife point using a sgian dubh.
James Williams used the blade to steal almost 450 after asking the female employee if he could see the traditional knife.
The weapon was stored in a display cabinet at the Historic Connections store in Edinburgh’s Royal Mile.
Williams admitted using the knife to assault staff member Emer Connaughton in June this year.
He brandished the blade and put it towards her stomach, demanding she hand over cash from the till.
He then escaped with 445.
Fiscal depute Dev Kapadia said the woman was in the shop by herself at the time. He added: “The incident took place at around 6.45pm. The shop sells various items, mainly low value jewellery and traditional Scottish items and trinkets.
“Williams entered and began browsing around various displays and asked to be shown a sgian dubh. He was handed one from a locked display. The one he asked to see was a non metal one, which is contained in a plastic sheath. It didn’t have a blade. He asked for that to be replaced and then asked to be shown another one in a presentation box, which was clearly bladed.”
The staff member then placed it on the counter and was initially followed by Williams.
“He pulled the sgian dubh from the presentation box and pushed her towards the till, pointed the blade and demanded the till be opened.”
The woman then opened the till and ran screaming from the shop.
Witnesses ran to her assistance, one of them following him. Williams got into a taxi, but was told to get out because he was still carrying the blade.
The witness took a picture of Williams who was later picked up by the police.
When he was quizzed by detectives Williams claimed:
“It wasnae me. “
Sheriff Derek Mcintyre deferred sentence for reports.
The case against Williams, 28, who is listed in court papers as a prisoner at Addiewell jail, is due to call again later this month.