A MAN desperate for cash to pay for drugs has been jailed after carrying out an armed robbery – at a vet’s surgery at 10 o’clock in the morning.
Wearing a mask and wielding a knife with a nine-inch blade, Robert Eadie, 22, confronted nurse Leanda Buchanan in the Drumbrae Veterinary Centre on January 31 this year and demanded: “Give me all your money”.
There was only £20 in the till.
A police spokesman described Eadie as a “dangerous individual” who was willing to use a weapon to obtain a relatively small amount of cash.
At the city’s Sheriff Court yesterday, Eadie, a prisoner in Saughton, was jailed for two years and ten months and placed on a supervised release order for 12 months.
He had pleaded guilty previously to the robbery and sentence had been deferred for background reports.
Fiscal depute, Isabel Clark, told Sheriff Alistair Noble that Miss Buchanan heard the front door of the premises open and thought it was a customer.
She was faced with Eadie, his face partially covered with a balaclava. Demanding: “Give me all your money”, he held up his right hand in which was a nine-inch kitchen knife.
The fiscal said the nurse called for veterinary surgeon, Gerard Henry, and he instructed her to open the till and hand over the money – two £10 notes.
Eadie then told the nurse and surgeon to empty their pockets and Miss Buchanan to empty her handbag. Neither had any money. Eadie then told the pair to go into the back room of the surgery and close the door. They did and Miss Buchanan called 999.
The fiscal said Eadie left the surgery and as he did so lifted up the balaclava and was seen by a delivery driver outside.
Eadie made off, but was stopped by police answering the 999 call.
Defence solicitor, Mark Hutchison, told the court that Eadie’s drug taking had got out of control and he realised the seriousness of the offence.
His client, he added, was presently serving a prison sentence with a release date in December of this year.
Sentencing Eadie, Sheriff Noble said that given the nature of the robbery and Eadie’s past offending history, he was placing him on a 12 months Supervised Release Order: “To protect the public from serious harm on your release and to provide you with a manner of support so you don’t find yourself back in prison”.
A police spokesman said: “Robert Eadie subjected staff at the Drumbrae Veterinary Centre to a frightening ordeal when he robbed them at knifepoint in January this year.
“His actions showed him to be a dangerous individual who was willing to present a weapon for a fairly small sum of cash.
“The sentence handed to him at court today reflects the commitment Lothian and Borders Police and the Crown Office have to tackling knife crime across the force area.”