A shopkeeper scared off a desperate addict who tried to rob her at knifepoint.
Kaneez Nazir replied “you must be joking” when Kevin Booth demanded she hand over money from the till of the Aneka Convenience Store on Blackness Road back in May.
And in light of the attempt to rob the shop, owner Mohammed Amin, 55, has been forced to increase security at the premises.
Mr Amin said: “It’s obviously very serious what happened, given it was a knife crime.
“It will be up to the courts to decide what his punishment will be.
“I hope the man gets the help he needs in jail. He must have been incredibly desperate to have done that.”
Mr Amin added: “I wasn’t in the shop at the time but the staff member phoned me and I was there within 10 minutes. I have to thank the police for how quickly they were able to get on the scene and trace the person involved.
“We’ve owned the store for more than 20 years and that was the first bit of bother we’ve really had. The staff member was shaken but thankfully she recovered OK.
“As a result of what’s happened I’ve increased security in the shop, spending extra money on cameras.
“I’ve also taken the decision to lock up the shop myself now. I don’t want my staff subjected to this type of thing.”
Booth, 34, a first offender, admitted to police he tried to raid the store in a bid to pay off drug debts.
Ms Nazir was behind the counter when Booth entered the shop covering his face with his hand. No other customers were in the store. Booth then presented the kitchen-style knife and demanded Ms Nazir open the till.
Prosecutor Vicki Bell told Dundee Sheriff Court: “She replied ‘you must be joking’ but the accused persisted and presented the knife at her.”
A witness who was heading to the shop to buy milk saw Booth leaving, and Ms Nazir told him he had just flashed a knife at her.
Booth was seen running along Blackness Road and into a nearby close.
Several police units attended and a review of CCTV of the Premier store adjacent to the Aneka revealed the accused leaving.
Officers managed to trace Booth at his home, with a joiner having to assist them in opening the door as Booth refused to answer.
When cautioned and charged, he responded: “This is the first time I have ever been arrested.
“I was desperate and due someone money.”
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He told police about his struggles with a drug addiction as well as suffering from bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Booth, a prisoner at Perth, pleaded guilty to trying to rob Ms Nazir, presenting a knife at her and repeatedly demanding she open the till and give him money on May 9.
Defence solicitor Stuart Hamilton said Booth was now stable on a methadone programme and anti-psychotic medication.
Mr Hamilton said Booth’s life was “spiralling out of control” at the time of the offence with his family having difficulty in trying to assist him.
Sheriff Alastair Brown deferred sentence on Booth until August 6 for social work reports and a psychiatric assessment.
He was remanded in custody meantime.