Armed robbers, aged 15, locked up after attacks on shop staff

The pair trashed a store in Anstruther.
The pair trashed a store in Anstruther.

TWO baby faced armed robbers who held up a Tesco store when they were both aged just 15 were today behind bars – after being warned they faced up to seven years each in jail.

The two boys - now aged 16 and who cannot be named because of their age – first trashed a Co-op store in Anstruther causing “large scale disruption” by hurling bottles of booze at staff and knocking over stands and tables.

They then travelled to a Tesco shop in the centre of St Andrews and carried out a “terrifying” armed robbery – holding a broken bottle to the neck of a staff member as they raided the store’s cigarette counter.

A sheriff told the pair: “This is armed robbery of commercial premises. One can expect a starting point of seven years detention.”

Fiscal depute Eilidh Robertson told Dundee Sheriff Court that staff at the Tesco store had been “terrified” during the robbery, which was captured in full on CCTV.

One of the boys is seen holding a jagged piece of glass to a member of staff as another worker leaps over a counter to escape.

The other boy then ransacks the counter area, stuffing his jacket with cigarettes and lighters before they ran off.

Miss Robertson said the Co-op incident had kicked off after one of the boys was asked for ID when he attempted to pick up a bottle of vodka in the shop.

She said: “Both then started shouting ‘you can’t touch me’.

“They picked up glass bottles, throwing them around, with one throwing a bottle at a member of staff.

“They then caused damage to the store, throwing various items around.

“At one point one accused started to cry, stating no-one liked him and he had made his parents life a misery.

“Signs of a large scale disturbance were evident throughout the store.

“After leaving they entered the Tesco store around 11pm.

“One accused asked for cigarettes and was told no.

“He smashed an already broken bottle of vodka on the counter and pointed it at the neck of a staff member.

“He continued to point it at members of staff and customers.

“The other accused climbed over and started taking cigarettes and lighters while the other brandished the bottle at staff and customers.

“One worker later told police it was ‘quite a traumatic incident – I was very frightened’.

“Another said he was ‘terrified what the accused were going to do’.”

The pair ran off but were caught nearby by police who attended the scene.

The first teen, aged 16, of Montrose, pleaded guilty on indictment to charges of assault, behaving in a threatening and abusive manner and assault and robbery.

The second, also 16, of St Monans, admitted two charges of behaving in a threatening and abusive manner and a further charge of assault and robbery.

Lawyers for the pair said they would give full pleas in mitigation of the charges when the boys return to court for sentence next month.

Sheriff Alastair Brown deferred sentence until April 10 for social work background reports and remanded them in custody meantime.

He said: “They are looking at a long sentence of detention unless there’s something wholly extraordinary in the social work reports.”