Robbers hit bookies armed ‘with roll of wallpaper’

The High Court heard that William Appleby and Darren Hunter were probably armed with wallpaper. Picture: Bill Henry
The High Court heard that William Appleby and Darren Hunter were probably armed with wallpaper. Picture: Bill Henry
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A TERRIFIED bookie’s shop manager handed over £2000 to masked raiders, believing he was facing a gun hidden in a bag.

But at the High Court in Edinburgh it was revealed that bandits William Appleby and Darren Hunter were probably armed with a roll of wallpaper.

Both men admitted robbing manager Craig Winton in a Ladbrokes shop in the Crighton Place on Leith Walk, on July 4 and repentant Appleby offered to re-pay the money.

A judge watched CCTV footage of the few moments when Mr Winton was menaced with a long object hidden in a bag and handed over banknotes which Hunter stuffed into a plastic carrier bag.

Advocate depute Douglas Fairley QC, prosecuting, described how the two men entered the shop just after 6.30pm when Mr Winton was working alone behind the counter.

A number of punters were using gaming machines or watching TV monitors.

Mr Fairley said Appleby, his face partly hidden behind a scarf, was holding an object with one hand at the end and the other halfway along its length to make it seem he had a firearm.

“The Crown understands that the item concealed in the bag may, in fact, have been a roll of wallpaper, though this would not have been obvious to Mr Winton.

The prosecutor continued: “Mr Winton states that he felt threatened and afraid and believed that the concealed item was a gun.”

He handed over about £400 from his till then, when the robbers demanded more, opened the safe behind him.

Solicitor advocate Brian Gilfedder, defending Appleby, said police later found a roll of wallpaper together with clothing worn by the raiders.

Appleby, 37, of Buchanan Street, Edinburgh and Hunter, 31, who appeared from custody, were remanded pending sentence next month.

The two had also faced a charge of returning to the Ladbroke’s shop two weeks later and attempting to rob staff but their not guilty plea was accepted.