Glasgow & West Scotland

Worker recognised Airdrie shop armed raider

An armed robber who was recognised as he held up his local shop has been jailed for three years and nine months.

A worker at the store in Airdrie, North Lanarkshire, identified Kevin Bennett, 19, to police after the robbery in December.

The High Court in Glasgow heard Bennett claimed, when he was stopped by police, the stolen cash was a present from his father.

The teenager admitted a charge of assault and robbery

Bennett was on probation when he carried out the shop raid.

The court heard how Majid Rusal was working in the shop in Dumbreck Avenue, Airdrie, when the 19-year-old entered.

Bennett, described as a "regular customer", had his hood up and his face was partially covered with a scarf.

The teenager brandished a knife and ordered Mr Rusal to hand over the takings.

Prosecutor Pino di Emidio said: "Mr Rusal immediately recognised him by his voice. The scarf then fell and he could see the face. This was a person that he knew."

Mr Rusal feared Bennett would use the knife and handed over £20 notes from the till.

Police later stopped Bennett and discovered the banknotes in his pocket.

Mr di Emidio told the court: "He claimed that his father had given him the money, but questioning with his father proved this not to be the case."

Passing sentence Judge Lord Turnbull said the offence was of "the most serious nature".

He added: "It is the duty of the courts to protect shopkeepers and others who through, nothing other than hard work provide a service to the rest of the community."

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