An armed robber who left a town in lockdown after a masked raid on a bookies was today jailed for four years.
Edward Murphy walked into the Loganbet shop in Brechin with his face covered by a Rangers scarf and went up to the counter demanding cash.
But his knife wielding stunt moved no-one – with teller Edward Nutten sitting still at his chair while punters continued watching TV.
Eventually – with no cash forthcoming and shop customers telling him to get out – Murphy fled.
When police were called in they closed a series of streets around the scene and called in trained sniffer dogs to join the hunt and Murphy was later traced.
Murphy, 39, a prisoner at Perth, admitted that, on February 16, at Loganbet, 45-47 Clerk Street in Brechin, he assaulted Edward Nutten, while his face was partially covered, presented a knife and demanded money with intent to rob him.
Solicitor John Boyle, defending, told the court Murphy was no longer taking drugs and was receiving medication for his mental health problems.
He said: “He is considerably apologetic for his disgraceful behaviour.
“He recognises that can’t be tolerated by the courts.”
Mr Boyle asked the sheriff to consider placing Murphy on a community payback order under supervision to allow him to address the various issues in his life and said the background reports suggested he was suitable for such an order.
Sheriff Alastair Brown told Murphy: “I recognised you committed the offence while you were under the influence of drugs, but that isn’t mitigation.
“It is a very serious matter indeed to rob commercial premises and point a knife at staff.
“You exposed them to potentially enormous and long lasting psychological problems.”
He said due to the nature of the offence and to his record of offending, there was no alternative to a custodial sentence and jailed him for four years.