An armed gang who staged a terrifying gunpoint raid after forcing their way into a Kirkcaldy flat were jailed today.
The balaclava clad intruders carried a handgun, a crowbar and a machete as they burst into the home of Dwayne Kinner who was with his cousin Nicholas Roberts, known as Ollie .
The High Court in Edinburgh heard the victims believed they were going to be shot after the gun was pointed at their heads and another robber threatened he was going to cut their fingers off.
James Mackie (30), Gordon Ellis (24), Derek Finlay (31) and Scott Smith (23) made off with a haul of £2500 and other valuables following the robbery at the flat in Viceroy Street in January 2015.
But among the items they had taken was a mobile phone on which Mr Kinner had installed a tracking app in case it was lost or stolen.
Hours later he arrived at Kirkcaldy police station with a tablet containing a screenshot showing that in the early hours of January 8, his Sony Experia phone was at a house in Stewart Street, in Dysart.
When officers attended at the address, Finlay told them: “There’s no a firearm but I’ve got a phone.” They also recovered computers, games, a sound bar and £710.
Mr Kinner, who was 25 years old at the time, later identified the computer equipment and games as his belongings taken in the robbery.
The High Court in Edinburgh heard that following the raid Mackie had given a woman a gold watch and asked her to keep it for him. She had thrown it away in a panic but took police to the area and the watch taken in the robbery was recovered.
The gun, which was discovered to be an air pistol, was later found behind a kickboard in a kitchen at a house in Glenrothes which Finlay had previously had access to.
The court heard Mr Kinner and Mr Roberts, who was 23 at the time, had spent the evening of January 7 watching TV and playing computer games when shortly before midnight they heard sounds as though the front door was being kicked in.
Mr Roberts went into the hall and was confronted by the four dark clad, masked men. Finlay was holding the gun and said: “Where’s the money?”
The victims were continually asked where valuables and cable ties on the TV were cut with a machete to allow it to be removed. After the intruders left the victims discovered that Mr Kinner’s bedroom had been ransacked.
Ellis was later detained by police in Kirkcaldy and admitted he was involved in the robbery. He said three or four days before it, that Mackie, who knew he was in a lot of debt, had spoken to him.
He said: “Mackie phoned me and said there was a job going if I wanted it.” He said that after the raid they went back to Finlay’s house and split the cash.
Police also learnt that following the robbery Smith and Mackie had been boasting that they had just “taxed Ollie”.
Smith was later interviewed by police and said: “Four of us went in. I only had a crowbar.”
He said Mackie had said he had “a job” to do and there would be money in it. He said the victims seemed to be scared.
Mackie, of Kirkcaldy, Ellis, of Cardenden, Finlay, a prisoner and Smith of Cardenden all pled to assaulting and robbing the victims.
The judge, Michael O’Grady QC, deferred sentence for the preparation of background reports and all four were remanded in custody.