Glasgow & West Scotland

Robber said sorry during axe raid in Argyll shop

A masked thief armed with an axe apologised to a shop assistant as he stole from the till, a court has heard.

Brendan McGuckin admitted assaulting the woman during a raid on Connel Post Office and Village Shop in Argyll.

He was picked out of an identification parade during which all the men were asked to repeat: "I'm sorry about this, just put the cash in the bag".

At the High Court in Glasgow he was ordered to pay £2,500 in compensation and put on probation for two years.

Lord Bonomy warned the 28-year-old from Oban that if he breached the conditions of probation or got into further trouble he would be brought back before the court and sentenced for the offence.

Identification parade

McGuckin earlier admitted assaulting shop assistant Sarah Sinclair by presenting an axe at her, demanding money and robbing her of £214 in October 2010.

The court heard he went into the premises wearing a balaclava, overalls and gloves and carrying a 35cm axe.

During the raid he raised the weapon above his head and told Mrs Sinclair: "I'm sorry about this, just put the cash in the bag."

His apologetic cash demand helped catch him following the raid, with Mrs Sinclair and another employee, Margaret Halliday, attending an identification parade where the men in the line up donned balaclavas and repeated the phrase used by the robber.

McGuckin had earlier been warned that he faced "a substantial prison sentence" for the offence but judge Lord Bonomy said he had been lenient because the 28-year-old was under financial pressures due to illness and a new family.

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