Thief who pushed woman out of moving car is jailed

The incident occurred outside the Maybury Casino. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
The incident occurred outside the Maybury Casino. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
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A THIEF who pushed a woman out of a speeding car has been jailed for three and a half years.

Ross Cummins, 28, nudged petrified Chinese student Ying Wang out of a motor near Maybury Casino in October 2014.

The high court in the city heard how the scholar, who lives in the Capital, was trying to recover a handbag which Cummins had stolen at the time of the terrifying incident.

The crook’s pal Wayne Affleck, 25, was driving at 20 miles per hour when the woman struck the concrete on Maybury Road. She was dragged for 100 metres along the road.

When police arrested the pair following the crime, they discovered that Cummins had committed another two armed robberies in Edinburgh.

Between September 29 and October 1, 2014, the thug also targeted a Carphone Warehouse shop and threatened two scared staff members with a blade. He got away with six iPhone 6 mobile phones and 500 cash in the raid.

He also targeted the Cashino amusement arcade in Nicolson Street and used a Burberry scarf to mask his face.

Cummins - who was on bail from Edinburgh Sheriff Court on theft and assault by threat charges at the time of his offences - stole 260 in gaming tokens after threatening two staff members there with a six inch knife.

On Wednesday, judge Lord Glennie caged Cummins and sentenced Affleck to 180 hours community service.

Passing sentence, the judge told Cummins: “You have committed very serious offences which have had terrifying effects on those who you targeted.”

The story emerged after Cummins, a prisoner of HMP Edinburgh, pleaded guilty to assault and robbery and culpable and reckless conduct charges at a hearing last month.

His friend Affleck, of Craigmillar, also pleaded guilty to a charge of culpable and reckless conduct.

Sentence had been deferred for the court to obtain reports.

At the earlier hearing, prosecution lawyer David Nicolson told the court that the snatch of Ying Wang’s handbag took place after Cummins had left the casino. His mate Affleck was driving the car.

He said: “Around 01:18 hours on Wednesday October 1, 2014, Ying Wang was sitting in the passenger seat of her friend’s Blue Honda Accord motor vehicle within the car park of the Maybury Casino.

“She was waiting for her friend to finish in the casino. At this time her handbag and its contents were sitting on her lap and she was playing with her mobile phone.

“As the accused left the casino the security officer followed him out into the car park. At this time Ross Cummins walked to Ying Wang’s motor vehicle. He then opened the passenger door and grabbed her handbag from her lap.

“He then ran to the waiting car closely followed by Ying Wang. As the accused Ross Cummins entered the car, Ying Wang grabbed her bag, subsequently being dragged by the accused Ross Cummins into the open passenger door of the vehicle.

“The vehicle then drove off onto Maybury Road with Ying Wang still holding onto her bag. The vehicle is believed to have been driving at approximately 20 miles per hour.

“Ying Wang was dragged for a distance of approximately 100 metres before she was pushed out of the vehicle by the accused Ross Cummins and she fell to the ground.

“Ying Wang made her way back to the casino to contact her friend who was still inside. She had suffered a cut on her upper right thigh which was bleeding, soreness and mild bruising.”

The court heard that the silver handbag contained £50 cash, a pink leather wallet, three bank cards, a Student ID visa which had been issued by the Home Office and a provisional driving licence.

Mr Nicolson also told the court about how Cummins entered the Carphone Warehouse shop in the city’s Dalziel Place and threatened staff members Jordan Duncan and Luisa Beattie with a knife.

He got away from the shop with brand new iPhone6 handsets and 500 cash.

Mr Nicolson added: “The accused was seen to be brandishing a knife towards Jordan Duncan. The accused was heard to say ‘this is a robbery, back off and sit in that f*****g corner there now’ or words to that effect.”

At 20 minutes past midnight on Wednesday October 1, 2014, Cummins walked into Cashino and threatened Michael Pitbladdo and Agnes Cuthbertson with a knife.

He escaped with games tokens after the pair told him they didn’t know the code to the safe in the arcade.

Mr Nicolson also told the court that the pair were arrested after police obtained enough evidence to link Cummins to the raids and establish Affleck was a get away driver.

The court heard they were arrested at 1.40pm on October 1 2014.

On Wednesday, Cummins’s advocate Michael Anderson told the court that his client was a drug addict.

Mr Anderson added: “He is dedicated to addressing his drug habit.”

Mr Affleck’s solicitor advocate Cameron Tait told the court that his client accepted his guilt.