Teenager assaulted pregnant woman in attempted robbery at Fife store
A Methil teenager admitted attacking a pregnant woman in an attempted robbery at a convenience store in Fife.
The 16-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, appeared before Sheriff Christopher Shead at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court.
The teenager admitted on August 30, 2020 at The Co-operative Group, High Street, Burntisland, he assaulted a man and a pregnant woman, brandished a metal baton at them, shouted, repeatedly demanded money, struck the man on the head and hit the woman on the body with the metal baton.
He admitted attempting to rob them of a sum of money.
He further admitted maliciously damaging the window at Jason’s Newsagents by repeatedly striking it with the baton, and having an offensive weapon in the High Street.
The Procurator Fiscal Depute told the court the teen had turned up at the shop at 6.20am as the employees, one of whom was pregnant at the time, were opening the store.
She said: “One of the witnesses had keys to open the premises. She was opening the door and the accused appeared and said: ‘I want all the money out of your till’.
“He was brandishing a black metal pole.
“A witness told him there was no money in the till and the accused struck him on the side of his forehead with the pole. He said: ‘I want the money.
“The other witness was struck on the forearm with the pole. The accused continued to brandish the pole and swung it several times at her.”
She continued: “The witnesses ran towards Jason’s Newsagents to get help and they ran into the shop – they said that they and been assaulted by the accused.”
The court heard that the teenager banged on the metal shutters with enough force to crack a glass panel.
A panic alarm button inside the newsagent’s was pressed alerting the police. Officers traced the teenager on Burntisland High Street with the baton measuring around 30cm.
He told them he had not hit anyone but had ‘whipped the baton out’ to scare the employees.
Both witnesses were taken to Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy to be treated for their injuries.
The teenager’s defence lawyer said: “This was a scary incident for the complainers. It’s an abhorrent set of circumstances, and he does not shy away from those circumstances.
“Regretfully he cannot remember the incident due to ingesting substances.”
He said the teenager did not have the benefit of the most settled upbringing with his parents but was hoping to start a joinery apprenticeship soon.
Sheriff Christopher Shead told the accused that cases similar to this one were often heard in the High Court.
He said: “This was absolutely outrageous conduct. It’s not long ago that the courts would have inevitably sent you to custody despite being so young.”
He said that court rulings on the treatment of young offenders meant he had to look at other options as an alternative to imprisonment.
He ordered the teenager to carry out 225 hours of unpaid work and placed him on a two-year supervision order.