Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Man jailed for shopkeeper hammer attack in West Lothian

Riaz Convenience Store in Armadale Image copyright Google

An armed robber has been jailed for six years for attacking a shopkeeper with a claw hammer in West Lothian.

Derek Meikle, 29, admitted assaulting Mohammad Nisar and robbing him of a till monitor at the Riaz Convenience Store in Armadale on 2 February.

Meikle had demanded cash from the till but when he was told there was no money in it began lashing out at Mr Nisar with the weapon.

The sustained assault was captured on CCTV.

Meikle had been released early from a previous 10-year sentence for serious violent offending and although his licence was revoked six months before the robbery he remained at large in the community until his latest crime.

Continued attack

A judge ordered he should serve 1,000 days of the previous sentence before beginning his latest six year term.

Lord Arthurson told Meikle at the High Court in Edinburgh that he would have jailed him for nine years for the robbery but for his guilty plea.

The judge pointed out that Meikle had continued his attack on the victim even after he had sought refuge in the rear of the shop.

He demanded money from his victim and repeatedly struck him with the claw hammer and a piece of shelving but left without any money.

Advocate depute Michael Meehan said two members of the public had contacted police after entering the shop and finding clear signs of a disturbance and the victim apparently in shock.

The court heard that Mr Nisar suffered bruising, swelling and a cut during the assault.

Meikle, a prisoner in Addiewell, was released in May 2016 from the previous sentence given to him at the High Court in Edinburgh in 2011.

Mr Meehan said his licence was due to expire in January 2021. His licence was revoked on 31 July last year but he was not returned to prison until he was arrested following the assault and robbery this year.

Defence solicitor advocate Stuart Carson said Meikle had a background of drug abuse and during his previous sentence he was prescribed a heroin substitute.

"Towards the end of January 2018 he started using a substance called Xanax and had been taking that for about two weeks or so. He has a poor recollection of events from that time and a poor recollection of the incident," he said.

He said Meikle wished to apologise to the victim for his behaviour and for what he had done.

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