Glasgow & West Scotland

Sean Collins admits fake bomb hold up in Glasgow

Nationwide building society
Image caption Collins targeted a Nationwide branch in Anniesland

A man has admitted robbing a building society in Glasgow to pay a court fine over a previous assault conviction.

Sean Collins, 28, wore a pink scarf and a pair of goggles to cover his face during the hold up at the Nationwide branch in Anniesland in December.

The High Court in Glasgow heard how he brandished a knife after pretending an empty tin of tuna filled with plasticine was a bomb.

Judge Lord Brodie remanded Collins in custody and deferred sentence.

The court heard how Collins was ordered to carry out 270 hours of community service and pay his victim £2,000 after being convicted of assault in June 2010.

The conviction resulted in him losing his job, which led to fears that he would be unable to pay the compensation and his mortgage.

'Having a laugh'

Collins, from Faifley, West Dunbartonshire, decided to carry out a robbery in order to raise the cash to pay the fine and targeted the Nationwide branch on 7 December last year.

The court heard how he went into the building society in the city's Great Western Road wearing the bright pink scarf and swimming goggles, put a tin with wires sticking out of it on the counter and demanded money from cashier Charlene McFarlane.

When she asked if he was "having a laugh", Collins swore and said he would "detonate it" before brandishing a 12in knife that was wrapped in a towel.

The cashier pulled out a cash tray and Collins snatched £1,400 before racing off.

He was caught on a nearby supermarket's CCTV going into a toilet and changing his clothes.

Police later got information that Collins was the culprit and he eventually handed himself in. The cash was never recovered.

Collins now faces a lengthy prison term after he admitted a charge of assault and robbery.

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites