A ROBBER who told three terrified staff he was going to petrol bomb their post office was jailed for four and a half years.
James Scott, 19, who was masked and armed with a knife, leapt on the counter of the shop in Blackburn, West Lothian in August, last year.
He shouted: “give me the money,” and then began spraying petrol over the counter and the floor of the post office.
Prosecutor Gillian Ross said: “He told the staff not to push alarms or he would petrol bomb them.”
At the High Court in Glasgow judge Lord Mulholland told Scott if not for his guilty plea he would have been jailed for six years.
Lord Mulholland said: “The three employees were providing a service to the community. They did not deserve this.
“You went in to the post office with your face masked and armed with a knife, sprayed petrol and threatened to set the post office on fire.
“Your actions were terrifying for the post office staff.”
The court heard that Scott has 15 previous convictions which include dishonesty and possession of a weapon.
Scott fled the premises with a four figure sum of money, but was identified by witnesses and later held by police.
Cash was found stuffed in a bag in his home.
A print from the sole of his trainers also linked him to the scene.
In court Scott admitted an assault and robbery charge at post office based in Blackburn’s Mill Centre.
Solicitor advocate Gerry Considine said: “Mr Scott was affected by Post Traumatic Syndrome at the time following an attack on him years earlier.
“He also has an abuse problem.”
The court heard the post office workers were left “visibly shaken”.
There was also a strong smell of petrol left in the shop after Scott sprayed the liquid.