Armed robber thwarted by bookie faces prison term

Scotbet store manager Peter Morris. Picture: Andrew O'Brien
Scotbet store manager Peter Morris. Picture: Andrew O'Brien
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AN armed robber who was thwarted by a bookmaker is facing a jail sentence.

Barry Shepherd admitted robbing a petrol station and attempting to rob a Scotbet worker during a court appearance yesterday.

CCTV images of Barry Shepherd. Picture: Contributed

CCTV images of Barry Shepherd. Picture: Contributed

The 40-year-old casually strolled up to the plastic screen of the Ferry Road bookies and handed over a betting slip bearing the message: “Be quiet, fill this bag with money or I’ll shoot you in the face. Chop, Chop.”

But worker Peter Morris told the Evening News that he looked down at the large bag thrust under the screen before meeting the robber’s panicked eyes and telling him: “Nae danger.”

With a handgun aimed at his chest, Mr Morris slowly tore to pieces the threatening note before challenging the raider to shoot him

“I told him: ‘Shoot me in the arm and I’ll get a lot of compensation’,” he said. “If you shoot me in the face you’re not going to get anything’.

“He then cocked the gun and pointed it at my chest. I said ‘Go for it’ and he just turned around and left the shop.”

That came nine days after Shepherd escaped with £400 after staging an assault and robbery at a BP filling station in the same street on January 18. He was traced when his landlady told police that he had shown her a bright blue, metallic-looking ball-bearing pistol he used in both incidents.

Shepherd told her that he had used it to shoot at mice in a flat and had fired the gun, which she described as “fast and loud”. She had held the gun and said it was heavy and realistic.

Police found a number of ball bearings in the flat but the weapon was never recovered.

At the High Court in Edinburgh yesterday, Shepherd, a former chef, of Keir Hardie Street, Methil, in Fife, admitting assaulting employee Dilwerjit Singh at the filling station by pointing an imitation gun at him, threatening violence, demanding money and robbing him of cash.

He also pleaded guilty to attempting to rob Mr Morris by making threats of violence, demanding money and pointing an imitation gun at him.

The court heard that police looking for the robber had later gone to a girlfriend’s flat in Edinburgh but were told that he had not lived there for several months.

She told officers that Shepherd had admitted he was responsible for the robberies.

Shepherd turned up at Levenmouth police station on February 12 saying he knew the police were looking for him.

Lady Scott deferred sentence on Shepherd, who was remanded in custody.

Customers were quick to hail Mr Morris for his bravery. He was even greeted with a warm round of applause at his regular pub Oceana.