Violent robber with 85 previous convictions who attempted to rob Edinburgh hotel told he may never be released from prison

Frail was found guilty after trial at the High Court in Edinburgh of assaulting hotel workers Mariola Kozlowska and Ione Haynes

Friday, 31st January 2020, 1:10 pm
Updated Friday, 31st January 2020, 1:10 pm
He travelled to the Apex Hotel in Edinburghs Haymarket Terrace intent on carrying on a robbery and threatened two reception staff.

A VIOLENT robber who carried out a masked terror raid at an Edinburgh hotel within days of being released from prison was today warned he may never be freed.

At the High Court in Glasgow James Frail, 40, was placed on an Order for Lifelong Restriction – the equivalent of a life sentence – because of the danger he poses to the public.

Frail, who has 85 previous convictions, had been released three years early from a lengthy sentence for seven robberies, armed himself with a weapon.

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He then travelled to the Apex Hotel in Edinburgh’s Haymarket Terrace intent on carrying on a robbery and threatened two reception staff.

Both were terrified by the ordeal and one said in evidence that she has still not got over her ordeal.

Frail was found guilty after trial at the High Court in Edinburgh of assaulting hotel workers Mariola Kozlowska and Ione Haynes, on January 26, 2018.

At the time he had been released from prison nine days earlier and was living in accommodation in the centre of Edinburgh.

Lord Beckett said he had “obviously planned the crime" working out how to enter the premises and commit the crime in a partly secluded area before fleeing.

The judge placed Frail, who is assessed as at high risk of re-offending, on an OLR and set the punishment part at three years.

But, Lord Beckett told Frail: “That does not mean you will only serve three years. It is an indeterminate period. You will only be released from prison when the parole board considers it is no longer necessary for the safety of the public for you to be imprisoned.”

Frail was previously jailed for 12 years in 2008 for a string of robberies that brought terror to the city and resulted in a bookmaker’s employee being wounded after he bravely tried to tackle him during the one-man crime wave.