A PAIR of teenage thugs who beat up a city shop assistant after he refused to sell them cigarettes had stabbed another man with a knife just four days earlier.
The boys – who cannot be named for legal reasons – were both 14 when they attacked the 28-year-old shopkeeper at the Max News Xtra store in Clermiston.
The duo joined 16-year-old friend Jordon Davidson in beating up the shop worker before two of the gang stole the cash till and cigarettes.
Only days before the assault at the Parkgrove Street shop, the pair attacked a 29-year-old man after he had bought them cigarettes. They chased him into a chemist and knifed him as terrified staff looked on.
At Edinburgh Sheriff Court yesterday, the two teenagers and Davidson pleaded guilty to assaulting the shop assistant to his injury and stealing cash from the shop on January 25.
One of the duo also admitted carrying a knife in Duart Crescent, Drumbrae, on January 21, while both pleaded guilty to a charge of acting in a threatening manner and placing the man in a state of fear and alarm.
The shop assistant, who asked not to be named, needed hospital treatment to a badly swollen eye after being attacked.
In June, the assistant told the Evening News how he had been threatened by an armed robber wielding a ten-inch knife who demanded all the cash from his till – then bizarrely paid him for a pack of cigarettes – during another hold-up at the shop.
Depute fiscal Ian Wallace told Edinburgh Sheriff Court yesterday that the three teenagers were part of a five-strong group of youths seen outside the Max News Xtra store at 4.15pm on the day of the incident.
Mr Wallace said: “Two of the males came into the shop and asked for cigarettes. They were clearly under the age of 18 and some had the faces covered with scarves.
“After being refused, the youths attacked (the shop assistant) and dragged him out of the shop and continued to punch and kick him. ”
Mr Wallace said that Davidson – who was aged 15 at the time – returned inside the shop with one of the teenagers to steal the till and cigarettes.
On January 21, the two youths had approached the 29-year-old victim to buy them cigarettes from a shop close to Duart Crescent.
When he returned, they set about him and started punching and kicking him. One of the accused teenagers produced a knife and shouted at him.
The court heard that he was chased into the Omnicare Pharmacy in Duart Crescent.
But the two teenagers charged inside with one of them striking the victim with a knife, inflicting a minor injury.
When a worker tried to lock the pair inside the shop to await police, he was told by one of the youths: “Don’t try it.”
Sheriff Derrick McIntyre deferred sentence.