A thief who stabbed a shopkeeper with a used hypodermic needle as the victim tackled him was jailed for four years and nine months today.
Dale Rae, who has hepatitis C, wounded Adnan Majeed on the arm during the attack on Christmas Eve last year.
A judge told Rae at the High Court in Edinburgh: “Your actions were despicable and the public has to be protected from you.”
Lord Mulholland pointed out that Rae, 29, had tried to hit the victim with a bottle and then stabbed him with the unprotected needle.
The judge said: “This you did well knowing you suffered from a contagious and life-threatening condition.”
Lord Mulholland said: “You pled guilty to five crimes related to two nasty incidents in which you sought to steal items from two shops and threatened staff.”
The judge said Rae would have faced a six year sentence but for his guilty pleas to the offences.
Rae, formerly of Craigmillar Castle Road, Edinburgh, admitted stealing a bottle of whisky from Romanes & Paterson in the city’s Princes Street before stealing two more bottles of whisky at Mr Majeed’s workplace at Your Store, in South Clerk Street on December 24 last year.
During the theft at Romanes & Paterson he made threats of violence and acted aggressively and continued to behave in a similar way during the second incident.
He also admitted assaulting Mr Majeed by attempting to strike him on the head with a bottle and stabbing him with the needle to his injury and to the danger of his life.
Rae tried to flee from the Princes Street premises with a bottle of whisky but was chased and the item was retrieved. He threatened to return to stab a member of staff.
He then went into the general store in South Clerk Street where he took two bottles of whisky and ran towards the door but Mr Majeed grabbed him by his clothing.
Advocate depute Eric Robertson said the men became involved in a struggle during which Rae dropped one bottle and tried to strike the proprietor with the other before producing two hypodermic needles and stabbing the victim with one of them.
The prosecutor said that the hypodermic had been used and contained traces of blood.
Police officers heard Rae shouting to Mr Majeed that he would “blow your f***ing shop up” and detained him.
Rae, who has previous convictions for dishonesty and weapon possession crimes, claimed that the only reason he went to attack the victim with the needle was because he went to hit him with a bottle.
He later said: “He tried to smash me over the head with a bottle of alcohol. All I did was try to steal a bottle of alcohol.”
The court heard that Mr Majeed had to attend for regular blood tests following the attack on him and is due for a final checkup.
Footage of the theft and assault at Your Store was shown to the court before Lord Mulholland sentenced Rae.
Defence counsel Ronnie Renucci QC said Rae has “a chronic history of drug abuse” and offended in a bid to finance the purchase of drugs.
He said Rae started taking drugs when he was 16 and went on to use heroin by both smoking and injecting the Class A narcotic.
Mr Renucci said the attack on the shopkeeper was not a robbery and added: “He was not in there with the intention of using the syringe in order to rob. His intention was to steal the bottles and run away.”
Lord Mulholland ordered that Rae’s sentence should run from the end of a 16 month jail term imposed on him last month after he breached a drug treatment and testing order.
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