Armed robber wearing Hearts scarf caught on CCTV without 'mask' before Inverleith bookies raid

AN armed robber who raided an Edinburgh bookmakers after being recorded on CCTV without his face covered has been jailed for 32 months.

By Alexander Lawrie
Thursday, 8th August 2019, 7:19 pm
Mark Hamburgh
Mark Hamburgh

Hapless Mark Hamburgh burst into the Coral bookies in Inverleith with his face covered with a Hearts scarf while brandishing a large knife and demanded the cashier hand over cash.

The terrified assistant threw around £300 over the counter to the robber.

Hamburgh grabbed the cash and stuffed it into an orange carrier bag before running from the shop at the Capital’s Bowhill Terrace at around 12.30pm on April 15 this year.

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Mark Hamburgh

But the 38-year-old crook was caught out after he was identified on CCTV and the Hearts scarf and the bag he had stuffed the notes into were found in a bin nearby.

Hamburgh appeared from custody at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on Thursday and pleaded guilty to assault and robbery.

Procurator fiscal depute Sophie Hanlon told the court Hamburgh entered the shop at around 12.30pm and was “shouting incoherently” while the assistant was behind the counter.

Ms Hanlon said: “The complainer realised a male had his face concealed with a red and white football scarf and with a dark hood over his head.

“He was brandishing a knife and was demanding money. He said ‘give me all the money – everything’.”

The assistant opened a cash drawer and removed £270 in notes and “threw the cash across the counter”.

The employee then opened a second till and threw a further £48 across to Hamburgh.

Hamburgh, from Edinburgh, picked up the notes and stuffed the cash into an orange carrier bag and ran from the shop.

Ms Hanlon added the “distressed complainer then pushed the panic alarm” and police were soon on the scene.

CCTV showed a man “acting suspiciously” at a bus stop opposite the shop moments before the robbery took place.

The prosecutor added: “The man seemed to be taking a hat and a Hearts football scarf on and off and he walked up to the vicinity of the bookmakers before walking away.”

The footage also showed Hamburgh outside the shop without the scarf masking his face and carrying the orange bag.

The bag and scarf were subsequently found stuffed into a wheelie bin in a nearby street and DNA proved Hamburgh had been the culprit.

Solicitor Richard Soutar, defending, said his client had suffered “a life blighted by the misuse of drugs” and that following the incident he had written a letter of apology to the shop assistant.

Mr Souter added: “He had got himself into a drugs debt and that brought pressure on him.

“He stumbled upon this idea to rob the bookmakers and he was in anguish whether to go through with it.

“Eventually he talked himself into it but tells me he would never have used the knife.”

Sheriff Michael O’Grady QC told the thug: “This is a serious matter being an attempted robbery at a commercial premises using a weapon.

“Furthermore it is set against an appalling record. You have been repeatedly dishonest.”