Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Bank cashier jailed for helping thief in Edinburgh

Mazahir Abbas Sheikh Image copyright CIARAN DONNELLY
Image caption Mazahir Abbas Sheikh was a staff member at the Craigentinny Avenue branch

A Royal Bank of Scotland cashier has been jailed for two years after slipping almost £8,000 to an accomplice in a crime he had planned.

Mazahir Abbas Sheikh, 38, was a staff member at the Craigentinny Avenue branch when he teamed up with Kerr Somerville, 33, to plot the raid.

The theft happened on 13 October 2014.

Somerville pled guilty in August 2015 to stealing the money, while acting with another man, and was sentenced to 10 months.

Sheikh had initially denied conspiring with Somerville to commit the theft, stealing £7,829, and failing to identify Somerville at an identity parade.

However, on the fourth day his trial he changed his plea to guilty.

He was sentenced at Edinburgh Sheriff Court.

'Pretty shocked'

Sheriff Alistair Noble told him that, although he was a first offender, given the gravity of the offence nothing other than a custodial sentence was appropriate.

Giving evidence at Sheikh's trial, Somerville said the teller had approached him in the summer before the raid.

"I was asked if I would take part in getting the money," he said.

"I was actually pretty shocked when it was put to me. I was in need of money at the time."

Somerville said he was told to come to the counter where Sheikh was serving and the money would be put under the shutter and no attention would be paid to him.

He was also told not to come in on certain days because there were people working there who would recognise him. He said he received a text to come in "after the next customer".

'Breach of trust'

Defence solicitor, Victoria Good, told Sheriff Noble her client had never been involved with the police or court system before.

"His wife and children are the most important people to him and he is very, very anxious about what will happen," she said.

"It is still his position that fearing for his wife and family he made the decision".

Sheriff Noble told Sheikh he took into consideration the 10-month sentence passed on Somerville, but Somerville, he said, had pled guilty at the first opportunity and had not been an employee of the bank.

He said: "You were, and in your case it was a breach of trust. You conspired to steal from your employers and you attempted to pervert the course of justice by lying to the police that the robbery had been committed by someone you didn't know."

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