TERRIFYING images have been released showing the moments when a city centre bookmakers was held up by two masked raiders threatening staff with what was thought to be a firearm – but was in fact a roll of wallpaper.
The CCTV pictures taken from the shop show how William Appleby, 37, seen here wearing a cream jacket with a green cap and disguised with a blue striped scarf, and crack cocaine addict Darren Hunter, 31, wearing a dark jacket and with a red scarf covering the lower half of his face, burst into the Ladbrokes on Crighton Place, Leith Walk, just after 6.30pm on July 4, brandishing what appeared to be a shotgun concealed inside a bag.
At the time the bookmakers was busy with customers and manager Craig Winton, who was the only member of staff on duty at the time, was left in fear of his life when the pair, threatened him with the object and ordered him to empty the till.
After handing over the £400 it contained, he was then forced to open the safe when the robbers, who left with roughly £2000, demanded more money.
Advocate depute Douglas Fairley QC, prosecuting, said: “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.
“Mr Winton states that he felt threatened and afraid and believed that the concealed item was a gun.”
After reviewing the CCTV footage detailed here, Judge Lord Uist commented that the way the wallpaper roll, which was discovered by police investigating the robbery along with clothing worn by the pair, was held by Appleby – with one hand at the end and the other halfway along – added to the impression that the bag contained a gun.
Sentencing the pair at the High Court in Edinburgh Lord Uist said: “It is intolerable that employees in any type of shop should be subjected to such treatment by criminal like you.”
Appleby, of Edinburgh, was sentenced to three years and nine months, while Hunter, who appeared from custody and has a lengthy criminal record – mainly for shoplifting – was given four-and-a-half years.