A Dundee architect who carried out a terrifying knifepoint robbery at a bookmakers has been jailed.
Nathan Ritchie robbed a William Hill store in Broughty Ferry last summer in a desperate bid for money – having been laid off from his job at a city firm six weeks earlier.
A sheriff today jailed the 38-year-old for 32 months, slamming him for causing “considerable distress” to the staff member he robbed.
Ritchie walked into an alleway beside the shop on Brook Street and changed into a full black outfit, including masking his face.
After entering the store, he leapt over the counter before pulling a knife on shop worker Alison Edwards, demanding she empty the safe.
He then made off with £716 before police were called and a major investigation launched.
But rather than hunt Ritchie down, he instead turned himself in to police, saying: “It isn’t fair on the staff.”
Fiscal depute Stewart Duncan preciously told the court that Ritchie had meticulously prepared for the robbery – packing a canvas bag full of dark clothes to change into before the attack, which took place around 11.15am on July 23 last year.
He said: “The complainer saw the accused entering on a CCTV monitor and as she got to the counter she saw him place his hands on the counter and jump up and over in to the till area.
“He then pulled out a large knife with a black handle and pointed it at her.
“She pushed the alarm button but he pushed it to turn it off.
“He demanded money while walking towards her pointing the knife at her chest.”
But around 10.30pm that night Ritchie cut short the police probe when he turned up at Broughty Ferry police office to confess.
Mr Duncan added: “He freely stated ‘it’s not fair on the staff’ and said he was feeling guilty.
“He said he had lost his job as an architect six weeks prior to this.
“He said he had covered up and threatened the staff with a knife and took a bundle of notes.”
Ritchie, whose address was given as Dundee Survival Group, pleaded guilty on indictment to a single charge of robbery on July 23 on Brook Street, Broughty Ferry.
He appeared from custody for sentencing before Sheriff Tom Hughes following the preparation of social work reporrs
Defence solicitor Anika Jethwa said Ritchie suffered a breakdown and spent a period in the Carseview Centre following his court appearance.
She said Ritchie is currently working to resolve outstanding debts and was assessed as being at a “low risk” of reoffending.
Ms Jethwa told the court: “He is not trying to hide or shirk from what he did.
“He has clearly shown remorse, he is genuinely sorry. He is deeply ashamed and embarrassed by his conduct.”
When passing sentence, Sheriff Hughes said: “You pled guilty to a very serious matter and this caused considerable distress to the person referred to in the charge and basically you placed her in a very, very difficult situation.
“Since then I have had the opportunity of reading a victim impact statement which sets out what would be very understandable reasons as to why she was deeply distressed by what happened.
“It is quite clear in this case you have shown remorse in your involvement in this matter and the report sets out the thinking you had and deeply regret what you did on the day in question.”
Ritchie’s sentence was backdated to February 5 when he was first remanded in custody.