Royal Mile pharmacy siege pair jailed for 11 years

Paterson and Irvine were sentenced today. Pic: Police Scotland
Paterson and Irvine were sentenced today. Pic: Police Scotland
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A couple, who held customers and employees at an Edinburgh pharmacy against their will, have been jailed for a total of 11 years.

Russell Irvine and Helen Paterson were sentenced to six and five-years in prison respectively at the High Court in Aberdeen today. They will spend a further five years on licence following their release.

The pair walked into the premises on the Royal Mile on Wednesday May 15 and produced a knife before attempting to rob the shop, while refusing to let anyone leave.

Police responded to the area and eventually forced entry into the pharmacy, using a taser to subdue 32-year-old Irvine in the process.

Paterson, 33, was taken to hospital after falling ill during the incident. She was later released and was subsequently charged along with Irvine before both pled guilty to the offences in August.

Chief Inspector Bob Paris said: “Russell Irvine and Helen Paterson subjected the staff and patrons within the pharmacy to a terrifying ordeal, which lasted a number of hours before police could bring a safe conclusion to the incident,

“Whatever the motives for their actions were, the distress and fear they caused their victims was inexcusable and the sentences handed to them today are a reflection of how seriously police and Crown Office view incidents like this.

“I sincerely hope all of those who were detained by Irvine and Paterson within the pharmacy can now put the matter firmly behind them.”