Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Serial offender robbed woman in her home at knifepoint

high court
Image caption Hannigan, who has 55 previous convictions, will be sentenced later this month

A serial criminal robbed a woman in her own home just two weeks after he had been freed early from jail.

Anthony Hannigan burst into the flat in Leith, Edinburgh armed with a knife and threatened Sarah Kerr.

The 20-year-old was alone in the early hours of 3 February this year as Hannigan, 26, demanded cash.

He admitted four charges, including assault and robbery, and will return to the dock to be sentenced later this month.

The High Court in Glasgow heard Hannigan, who has 55 previous convictions, filled a suitcase with loot before ordering Ms Kerr to drive to a local ATM to get him money.

He eventually escaped having broke into two other houses in the capital hours earlier.

Hannigan was only released from prison on 17 January - just 16 days before he returned to crime.

'Terrified'

The court heard Ms Kerr was in bed about 02:00 when she heard banging and drawers being closed.

She opened a door and was met by Hannigan, who was clutching a kitchen knife.

Prosecutor Liam Ewing said the woman was "terrified" as she begged not to be hurt.

Hannigan claimed he needed money as his mother would be harmed if he did not get any.

Ms Kerr pleaded she only had £50 - but the he yelled back: "That's not good enough."

The court heard Hannigan went on to "hug her and apologise several times".

He then ransacked drawers in Miss Kerr's flatmate's room and took items including an expensive watch and hair straighteners.

ATM demand

The victim begged Hannigan to go, but he refused and insisted he would "hurt her" if she called police or did not get more money.

He demanded they go to a cash machine and Ms Kerr then drove with him to an ATM where she handed over £130.

Hannigan said he wanted dropped off at a flat near Hibernian football club's Easter Road stadium.

As he got out, he failed in trying to snatch the car key, instead leaving Ms Kerr "distressed and emotional".

She called her father and the police but was too scared to return home.

Hannigan was traced at another flat in Leith the next day.

A number of stolen items were found including a laptop, earrings, perfume and watches.

The judge, Lady Rae, deferred sentencing for reports.

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