The defence counsel in a High Court trial has claimed the accused didn’t plan to carry through with a threat to rob a Dundee bookies.
James Gorrie, 42, a prisoner at HM Prison Perth, denies five charges, including assaulting taxi driver James McArtney during a journey through Dundee, and trying to rob Paula Lyttle, a worker at Ladbrokes in Strathmartine Road, on August 29 last year.
He also denies resisting police officers’ attempts to arrest him and possessing cocaine.
In closing speeches to the jury in Edinburgh, both the defence and Crown noted Gorrie’s alleged use of the words, “I am going to rob you,” to Miss Lyttle.
Defence counsel Stephen Hughes said that despite Gorrie apparently using the words, it wasn’t an indication that he planned to carry out the robbery.
He also said that there was no premeditation around Gorrie planning to commit a robbery. Mr Hughes told the court: “An attempt to do something means, of course, that he was ready and willing to do it.
“Another person’s impression of what someone intends to do is not the same as that person attempting to do something.
“He wouldn’t tell the taxi driver where he was going, but all the information the taxi driver had was for a taxi going to the Douglas area of Dundee.
“The taxi driver then becomes quite understandably upset by the accused’s behaviour and performs an emergency stop. They have arrived outside the destination unexpectedly.
“The first thing he said when he got into the betting shop was: ‘you better phone the police because I am going to rob you’.
“People who are going commit robbery don’t usually start off with the line, ‘you better phone the police’.”
The court previously heard how police were called by Miss Lyttle, with officers turning up to arrest Gorrie outside.
Advocate Depute Gordon Lamont told the jury the use of the phrases, “I am going to kill you” and “I am going to rob you,” along with evidence from police officers about the accused’s conduct as they tried to arrest him, and a joint minute which agreed 4.62g of cocaine had been discovered on Gorrie’s person at West Bell Street Police Station, was conclusive of his guilt of the five charges.
The jury has retired to deliberate its verdict.