THE son of Hearts legend Gary Mackay has been jailed for attacking and robbing an elderly shopkeeper of £11,000 – before blowing the cash in London.
Desperate Ryan Mackay, 25, knocked elderly worker Mahmud Amjad to the ground before fleeing with a bag of shop takings in Clovenstone Park.
The “cowardly” February 2011 attack saw Mackay deliberately target the pensioner.
He was spotted by suspicious members of the public loitering near the Londis Convenience Store where Mr Amjad worked just seconds before the unsuspecting 72-year-old left to take the day’s takings to the bank.
Mr Amjad was walking towards his car when Mackay snuck up on him and grabbed the bag. The pensioner was punched to the ground before Mackay ripped the bag from his arm and ran off.
Following the incident, Mackay, of Colinton Mains Crescent, spent the £11,435 he escaped with “on social purposes” while evading police in London.
He was eventually caught by police who used DNA to snare him.
He admitted the heist when he appeared before Edinburgh Sheriff Court yesterday and was jailed for just over two years.
The court was told how he carried out the robbery following the sudden death of his mum, Vicky, an event which left him in a “pretty desperate state”, said defence solicitor Andrew Houston.
He said his client did not have good relationships with his family, and described his mood as “manic” at the time of the incident.
The court heard that Mackay had spent a pleasant evening with his mum – who he lived with – before finding her dead.
Mr Houston said: “He was unable to cope and became itinerant. He had no source of income by February 2011 and was in a pretty desperate state.”
He said the offence “stood out very much in isolation”, and added his client had not reoffended in the intervening period.
Sentencing him, Sheriff Donald Corke told Mackay he took a dim view of the incident.
He said: ”This was a premeditated and cowardly assault. You assaulted an elderly man, punched him to the ground and robbed him of more than £11,000 in takings.
“There was no recovery of the money and you were tracked down through DNA, not by your conscience”.
At the time, the robbery sparked an appeal for information in the Evening News, with a police spokesman describing it as “a particularly nasty assault and robbery on an elderly male, who is well liked within the local community”.
Gary Mackay, 49, played for Hearts between 1980 and 1997, and still holds the record for the most competitive appearances for the club with 640. He declined to comment.
Mr Amjad was also unavailable for comment.