A BUNGLING thief who was planning to rob a bookies handed a note demanding cash to a chip shop worker instead.
Derek Carr, 49, got a friend to write the demand on the back of a betting slip because he can’t read or write.
Livingston Sheriff Court heard he had planned to rob a branch of Coral but went into the local fish and chip shop in Blackburn.
When the server realised he didn’t want chips, he directed Carr to the bookies next door.
Lewis Crosby, prosecuting, told the court yesterday that witnesses had earlier noticed Carr, who was carrying a blue plastic bag, was clearly under the influence of something.
He entered Coral just before 6pm, walked up to the counter where the manager was standing and handed her the note.
It read, “Put the money in the bag or someone will die”, Mr Crosby said.
The prosecutor went on: “This was read by the complainer who handed the note back to the accused and asked him, ‘Are you telling me you’re holding me up?’
“The accused didn’t respond at first, however he then opened the carrier bag and said ‘Put the money in the bag’.
“This was overheard by another member of staff who had been on the shop floor. Both members of staff pressed the silent panic alarm.
“The complainer thereafter informed the accused that she was not giving him any money.
“The accused smirked and said, ‘I was only joking’. He then calmly walked out of the door taking with him his note and the carrier bag.”
Carr, whose address was given as Addiewell prison, pleaded guilty on indictment to attempting to rob the shop on April 25 this year.
He had sentence deferred for background reports.
Greg Tod, 33, whose address was also given as Addiewell prison, had a not guilty plea to the same charge accepted and was formally acquitted.
Darryl Lovie, defending, said Carr had been so drunk at the time that he had no memory whatsoever of the botched robbery bid.
He said: “Because Mr Carr is illiterate and can’t read or write, he didn’t know what was on the note, but he was aware of his actions.
“He appreciates the seriousness of his position and has the record of a man who’s had a drink and drug problem for a significant period of time.
“He recognises that given the seriousness of the charges, it’s almost inevitable that a custodial sentence will be imposed.”
Sheriff Peter Hammond deferred sentence until July 30.