Blockbuster robbers target lone shop assistant


TWO men entered a Blockbuster video store pretending not to know one another before pouncing on the shop assistant and demanding cash from the till.

Thomas Airlie, 35, and 24-year-old Liam Kinghorn walked into the shop in Davidson Mains, Edinburgh, at around 6.15pm on 9 November last year, without speaking to each other.

The shop assistant, Ian Dewar, 29, was working alone and believed the men were browsing so continued with what he was doing.

Soon after, both men approached the counter with separate inquiries and as one was paying for a bag of sweets the other swing round to the other side and ordered Mr Dewar to empty the contents of the till.

Mr Dewar was then punched twice on the left side of his mouth by the man standing across from him.

At Edinburgh Sheriff Court today (Tue), Airlie and Kinghorn pled guilty to assaulting the Blockbuster employee and to robbing him of £215, a Nintendo DS computer game and his mobile phone.

Fiscal depute Melanie Ward said: “Mr Dewar was taken to the back of the shop and was told he would not be hurt but that he should hand over his mobile phone.

“One of the accused then took the keys to the shop ad locked the door so no one else could come in and during that time two witnesses did try to enter the locked shop.

“After taking £215 from the till one of the men decided to take a computer game from the shelf and they unlocked the door and made off on foot.

“The police were then contacted and CCTV footage from the shop was obtained and a warrant was put out for the men’s arrests.”

Kenneth Cloggie, Airlie’s defence solicitor, said his client realised that the “game was up” and handed himself into police.

He said: “My client has a heroin addiction which is how he came to be in this place, it shows him acting without thought and for the desperation of his addiction.”

Colm Dempsey, Kinghorn’s defence solicitor, said: “My client has had some work as a labourer but was unemployed at the time.

“He has a three-year-old son and was being given benefits, but because of his existing heroin addiction – which he was spending up to £50 per day on – his useage out-weighted his income.

“The victim did not require medical attention and the value of the items stolen was limited.

“There was no weapon used and no attempt to conceal their identities, it was not a long thought out plan.”

Sheriff Elizabeth Jarvie said she would defer sentence until 17 February  so she could watch the CCTV footage, and to obtain a victim impact statement from Mr Dewar.

She said: “It was not very well pre-planned if you ask me, but there was planning involved nonetheless.

“Had there been a weapon involved I would be thinking of double the sentence I am right now.

“I would like to see the impact this has had on the victim.”