A dopey robber who carried out a terrifying raid in which he broke into a Cowdenbeath home and made off with a Mercedes was “not the brains of the operation”.
Stephen Gray and an associate kicked in the door of Stewart Smith’s property, before making off with a designer handbag and the high-powered car.
The 31-year-old and his partner in crime – not identified in court – abandoned the car in Dunfermline but decided to take a taxi back to Cowdenbeath.
They paid the fare with a stolen bank card and during the journey, the taxi driver overheard Gray blow his cover by saying to his associate: “Why are you calling me Paul when my name’s Stevie?”
Depute fiscal Claire Bremner said the pair kicked the front door of the Cowdenbeath house – with a man and a woman inside – and demanded they move their car because it was blocking a space.
The car was not causing an obstruction so the owner did not answer the door.
Ms Bremner said Gray and the other man, who were wearing masks, kicked down the door and entered the house.
“They approached the witnesses, who had been backed into separate corners.
“They were shouting and demanding the keys to the car.”
The male was punched by one of the robbers, who then made off with a Louis Vuitton handbag and the car.
Later that afternoon a taxi driver, called to pick up Gray and his accomplice in Dunfermline, passed the abandoned Mercedes and noticed police there.
They asked the driver to avoid the scene as he took them to Cowdenbeath.
During a conversation with the driver the pair claimed their car had broken down but denied they had anything to do with the abandoned Mercedes.
Gray then blundered by revealing his name.
Solicitor Zander Flett, defending Gray, said: “He’s not the brains of the operation.
“That’s clear when, in the course of the taxi journey, he said ‘why are you calling me Paul when my name’s Stevie?’
“The charge is clearly a serious one but there were no weapons involved and the only injury to (the householder) were grazes and a cut thumb.”
Chased by 82-year-old
The court heard that, on an earlier occasion, Gray had broken into the home of an 82-year-old woman in Markinch.
He fled when she woke up and confronted him.
Mr Flett said crack cocaine addict Gray had “accidentally” broken into the woman’s house and had been targeting another property.
He said: “His intended target was a different house entirely – he didn’t know she was 82 and he didn’t know there was a woman in the house.”
Gray, a prisoner at Perth, admitted acting with another in the assault and robbery in Cowdenbeath on March 10.
He further admitted the Markinch break-in on January 23 2019.
Sheriff Jamie Gilchrist jailed Grey for a total of 28 months.