Bookie who stood up to gun thug says sentence ‘lenient’

Have-a-go hero Peter Morris. Picture: Andrew O'Brien
Have-a-go hero Peter Morris. Picture: Andrew O'Brien
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AN armed robber who was thwarted by a brave bookmaker has been jailed for three years.

Barry Shepherd had already made off with £400 from petrol station just days before he attempted a raid at a Scotbet shop.

The 40-year-old ­casually strolled up to the plastic screen of the Ferry Road bookies and handed over a beting 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 at the time 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 fake handgun aimed at his chest, Mr Morris slowly tore to pieces the threatening note before challenging the raider.

He said: “I told him: ‘Shoot me in the arm and I’ll get a lot of compensation. 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.”

Today, Mr Morris branded the three-year sentence lenient.

He said: “He’ll get out in a year and a half. It didn’t turn out to be a real gun but the level is still there. I don’t think it’s long enough. The punishment never seems to fit the crime.

“They should have made an example of him, or you’re a sitting duck for these people.”

At the High Court in Edinburgh earlier, Shepherd, a former chef, of Keir Hardie Street, Methil, in Fife, admitting assaulting employee Dilwerjit Singh at a BP filling station in Ferry Road on January 18 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 judge told Shepherd yesterday that he would have faced a four-and-a-half year prison term for the offences but for his guilty pleas.

Lady Scott also ordered that he should be supervised for ten months at the end of his jail sentence.

Shepherd said “thank you” after the judge completed ­sentencing him.