Thief traced after dropping phone in victim’s home

A THUG who threatened a man with learning difficulties with a knife was caught after police traced him from a mobile phone he dropped – in his victim’s house.

Scott Smith, 21, left the handset behind while trying to rob terrified Jordan Bennett in his home in Kings Road.

The blunder allowed cops to trace Smith and arrest him – but not before he went on to threaten a pregnant woman with a knife by pointing the tip of his blade at her baby bump.

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A police source – speaking after Smith appeared at court – said: “Fortunately for us, this guy has to be one of the clumsiest and stupidest criminals in Edinburgh.”

The High Court in Edinburgh heard how Smith and another man broke into Mr Bennett’s home on May 13.

Smith threatened Mr Bennett, who has mild learning difficulties, with a knife so he could extort cash from him.

But Mr Bennett started struggling with Smith and sustained cuts to his left hand.

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The court heard that 
during the confrontation, Smith dropped his mobile phone. Detectives later found the handset and discovered that the item was registered to the apprentice plumber.

However, before police could arrest him, Smith went on to break into Bernadette Barrett’s house in Craigour Road.

As well as threatening her with a knife, he also threatened her pregnant friend.

He was arrested shortly after the second incident.

Smith, formerly of Mountcastle Drive South, Edinburgh, admitted two charges of hamesucken before judge Lord Uist yesterday.

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Prosecution lawyer Martin Macari told the court that he broke into Mr Bennett’s flat at 9.45am. He said: “He saw a male who was the accused Scott Smith, standing in the hallway, with his face masked, holding a knife in each hand.

“The accused walked towards Bennett brandishing the knives at him shouting ‘I’m going to stab you. Give me your money. You’re getting robbed mate’.”

A PlayStation games console, £300 cash, an iPad and bottles of aftershave were taken during the raid. But as Smith was leaving, he dropped his phone.

Mr Macari told the court: “Shortly after the accused had left, Mr Bennett heard a phone ringing within his bedroom. He found a mobile phone which had been dropped by the accused. It was later found to be registered to the accused, Scott Smith.”

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The court heard that the following month Smith and another two men entered Ms Barrett’s house without receiving permission. She was with her friend Julie Anne McMillan, who was five months pregnant.

“The front door was unlocked and the males entered,” Mr Macari said. “The witness McMillan stood up, holding her mobile phone in her hand. The male stated ‘drop the phone’.

“McMillan asked the male what this was about to which he pulled out a knife and pointed at McMillan’s stomach, the point touching her.

“Meanwhile, Barrett who was still within her bedroom became aware of a commotion. She entered the hallway and was confronted by two males standing at the front door brandishing the knives.”

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The court heard that Barrett managed to get out the house and contacted neighbours who telephoned for the police.

Lord Uist deferred sentence on Smith in order for the court to obtain reports about his character. He will be sentenced on December 7.

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