Edinburgh Crime: Shocking video shows the moment a brick flies through a Haymarket shop window, missing shop worker's head by inches

An attack on a family-run Haymarket convenience store on Boxing Day has left a shop-worker fearing for his life in what he believes was a targeted attack.

By Liam Smillie
Tuesday, 28th December 2021, 2:10 pm

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Waqar Akhtar was serving customers at his family’s shop, the Costcutter on West Maitland Street, at around 8:43pm, when he heard the shop window shatter behind him - showering him in glass.

An assailant had thrown a mono block, commonly used in construction, directly through the shop’s window, missing Mr Akhtar’s head by inches.

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The man was seen gesticulating and shouting through the smashed window

The victim had noticed the man sitting across the street on the pavement, watching the shop from the curbside as he called someone on his mobile, nursing a bag on his lap.

He thought it was odd, but said he had not expected the man to retrieve a brick from his bag and launch it at the back of his head.

CCTV from Costcutter and neighbouring businesses caught almost the entire incident on camera, which Waqar shared with the Evening News.

Next door’s CCTV captured the suspected attacker running down the street before the attack, with what appears to be the mono block in the front pocket of his hoodie.

A man was seen running towards the Costcutters moments before the attack

The video from inside Costcutter shows the glass shattering and Mr Akhtar stumbling back in shock, before the suspect seemingly shouts something, gesticulates wildly, and runs off.

The suspect was wearing a grey hoodie, black tracksuit bottoms, gloves, and trainers, after the attack he ran off West Maitland Street around the corner and onto Morrison Street.

Before the attack, he sat for a few minutes outside of Edinburgh Phone Repair and Mr Akhtar believes he was preparing to attack the shop at this time.

Speaking to the Evening News, Mr Akhtar said: “I’m terrified, I’ve had no sleep at all in the last two days - that brick could have killed me, he must have threw it with so much force because the glass is 18mm thick and it barely missed my head - I just feel lucky that I wasn’t injured from the glass shattering either.

“We’ve never had too much trouble with customers before, we’ve had issues with petty crimes like shoplifting since homeless accommodation was set up around the corner a few years ago, but no one’s going to do that over getting barred.”

Police were informed about the attack immediately and took the brick as evidence to attempt to lift fingerprints.

A spokesperson for Police Scotland said: “Around 8.45 pm on Sunday, 26 December, 2021, police were called to a convenience store on West Maitland Street, Edinburgh, after a brick had been thrown through the window of the shop.

“No one was injured and enquiries are continuing.”

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