Tayside and Central Scotland

Bank robber fled to Perth after Edinburgh bank heist

A bank robber escaped by bus after threatening a teller that he would detonate a bomb unless he was given money.

Maxwell Taylor surrendered to police in Perth the day after the incident, still wearing the clothes he had on while robbing the Edinburgh bank.

At the High Court in Edinburgh, the 29-year-old said his flight to Perth was part of his "great escape plan".

Lord Turnbull deferred sentence until next month and remanded him in custody.

Taylor, 29, described as a prisoner, admitted assaulting NatWest Bank employee Sahir Hiqqash and claiming to be in possession of a bomb which he said he would detonate unless he was given money. He also admitted stealing £1,670 from the bank on 27 June this year.

When he arrived at the counter at the George Street branch he slipped a note to Mr Hiqqash stating: "I've got a bomb in my bag, hand over the money or you go bye bye."

Hidden dye

Advocate depute Hugh Irwin said: "The victim thought the accused was joking until the accused pushed the rucksack towards him."

Mr Hiqqash alerted another a colleague by using a codeword who watched as he handed over banknotes along with the raid pack which should activate as it is taken out of the premises, spraying pink dye.

CCTV footage revealed that after he left the bank Taylor had boarded a bus bound for Kirkcaldy in Fife. The bus was traced but by the time police arrived he had gone.

He revealed that he had taken the train to Perth and booked into the Station Hotel and added: "All part of my great escape plan."

The following morning Taylor turned up at Perth police station and asked whether he could hand himself in for a robbery in Edinburgh.

The 29-year-old told officers: "I knew I'd be caught eventually so I thought I'd hand myself in."

Full admission

Police recovered £800 from Taylor and found £140 covered in pink dye in the hotel cash box.

Mr Irwin said that the robber was interviewed and gave "a full and frank admission to the crime".

Defence solicitor advocate Krista Johnston said Taylor had an accident last year and part of his leg was blown off by an electric current.

She said that at the time of the offence he had no money and that was his motivation for the crime.

Lord Turnbull deferred sentence until next month when background reports will be prepared.

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