Men sentenced after attack on Trinity shopkeeper

A+A Newsagents - South Trinity Road. Picture; Ian Georgeson

A+A Newsagents - South Trinity Road. Picture; Ian Georgeson

AN ARMED thug who hacked a shopkeeper’s head with a machete during a robbery bid has been jailed for more than eight years.

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Tahir Ahmed  was attacked at A+A Newsagents - South Trinity Road. Picture; Ian Georgeson

Tahir Ahmed was attacked at A+A Newsagents - South Trinity Road. Picture; Ian Georgeson

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Liam McMeechan left Tahir Ahmed with a fractured skull following the raid at his Edinburgh newsagents last August.

Tahir feared he was going to die - but had bravely tried to fight off the 23 year-old.

McMeechan had only been back on the streets 22 days when he struck having been freed early from prison.

He was back in the dock today after pleading guilty to assaulting the shopkeeper to his severe injury and permanent disfigurement.

Accomplice David Allan (50) meantime admitted to a charge of attempted robbery.

Lord Boyd jailed McMeechan for seven years – but he must first serve 414 days from his previous sentence.

The judge branded the thug – who has a string of robbery convictions – as a “considerable menace”.

McMeechan will also be supervised for two years on his release.

Allan was locked up for 32 months for his part in the crime.

Neither man showed any emotion as they were taken handcuffed to the cells at the High Court in Glasgow.

Tahir – a shopkeeper for 30 years – was working alone at his store in the capital’s South Trinity Road when the duo pounced.

It was the fourth time someone had tried to raid his store.

Allan stood at the counter while machete wielding McMeechan yelled: “Give him the money.”

Allan quickly fled as Tahir pressed the panic alarm. McMeechan then lashed out at the victim with the weapon.

Tahir initially grabbed his arm before being hit on the head again.

The wounded 55 year-old managed to pick up a chair and launch it at his attacker.

McMeechan dropped the machete before running out the ransacked newsagents.

Prosecutor Mark McGuire said: “The victim took a few moments to recover and compose himself.

“It was only at this time that he realised he was bleeding heavily from his head.”

Staff from a nearby pharmacy came to give him first aid.

Tahir later needed 14 staples for serious head wounds and has been left scarred for life.

Police went on to find the ditched machete as well as a scarf, which had the DNA of McMeechan’s mum – the ex-partner of Allan.

Allan was eventually held and stated: “All I’m saying is that this is heavy and it was never the plan. It went too far.”

McMeechan was also arrested – he asked officers at the time: “Have you got Davey Allan yet?”

Lord Boyd said Tahir had “eloquently” detailed the impact the ordeal has had on him.

After the duo appeared in court last month, Tahir was reported as saying he was “glad” they had admitted their guilt.

He added: “This has left a mark on my life. I was psychologically damaged as well as physically.

“When I’m in the shop, I’m always looking out for something or someone.”

Describing the raid, he went on: “I could see the weapon – I was thinking I was going to die as I was getting hit over the head with it.”