A Fife taxi driver who was forced at gunpoint to rob a bank with a fake bomb claims victims are being “ignored by the system”.
Alistair Rankin was kidnapped at gunpoint in November 2015 and ordered to rob a Bank of Scotland in Kirkcaldy, carrying what he thought was an explosive device.
Hijacker Andrew Patrick, who put on a fake Polish accent during the heist, was caught three weeks later and eventually imprisoned.
However, Alistair and his family had to flee their Cowdenbeath home amid fears he had been targeted by eastern European gangsters.
Six years later, he said he remains in therapy, is still traumatised and remains on medication.
The 52-year-old told The Daily Record: “My life has never been the same.
“I take a cocktail of 14 pills before I leave the house and sleeping tablets before I go to bed.
“It’s been a nightmare and has put a strain on my family life.
“I’m still in therapy and don’t know when I will be able to put it all behind me.
“I’m still very angry with what happened.”
Alistair was awarded £6,100 by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA), having initially been offered £1,000.
“I’d had enough of fighting it so settled but I don’t think it was enough.
“I know someone who got £10,000 for being bitten on their shoulder while at work.
“That’s obviously distressing but small compared to what happened to me. The system just seems so unfair.”
Gym instructor Patrick, 45, from Lochgelly, was sentenced to six years and nine months in prison after admitting abduction, assault and robbery at the High Court in Glasgow.
Alistair added: “Patrick is out and his life has gone on. He probably never even thinks about it.
“I’ve never seen him again and wouldn’t want to. He’s no real understanding of what he caused.
“Victims of crime are ignored by the system.
“I thought that at the time of his sentencing and I think it having gone through the compensation scheme.”
Victims of crime can make a claim via CICA, up to £50,000, for injuries and trauma suffered.
A CICA spokesperson said: “Our thoughts remain with Mr Rankin and we know that no amount of compensation can ever make up for the harm and suffering caused by violent crime.
“Injury awards are intended to be an important gesture of public sympathy and acknowledgement of the trauma that victims have experienced.”
On November 11 Alistair was called to pick up Patrick at Lochgelly Industrial Estate.
The would-be robber spent the 15 minute journey to Carberry Road in Kirkcaldy disguised in sunglasses, scarf and baseball cap, talking into his phone in a Polish accent.
When they arrived at the bank Patrick pulled out a gun and passed Alistair the fake bomb and a note demanding money, which he was told to take into the bank.
Alistair carried out the instructions and was given £10,000 but when he left the bank, Patrick had already fled.
It was the second time Alistair had been subject to a terrifying taxi ordeal, having been robbed at knifepoint in 2000.