‘If they get five or six years I will be happy’

Post of­fice owner’s ver­dict af­ter guilty pleas

Rutherglen Reformer - - Court - Mur­ray Spooner

The owner of Ruther­glen Post Of­fice be­lieves jus­tice will be done af­ter two men pled guilty to car­ry­ing out a ter­ri­fy­ing rob­bery on his busi­ness.

Martin Bar­nett teamed up with ac­com­plice Lee Boyd to hold up Amir Yasin’s shop on Main Street last Novem­ber.

A judge heard how em­ploy­ees cow­ered in fear as Bar­nett wielded a ser­rated-knife while scream­ing “give me the money”.

Staff raced into a back room and slammed shut a se­cu­rity door while the pair “grabbed what­ever was to hand” in­clud­ing sealed pack­ages due to be sent recorded de­liv­ery.

The value of the stolen haul was said to be £13,750.

Both then left but a num­ber of items fell to the ground in­clud­ing two sealed en­velopes and the han­dle of the knife.

Po­lice soon spot­ted the rob­bers with their hands full of the loot. Bar­nett raced off, but of­fi­cers caught Boyd. Bar­nett was later found by po­lice and asked of­fi­cers if hav­ing a blade “counted as armed rob­bery”.

Shop owner Amir, 26, was at the front of the store when Bar­nett and Boyd stormed the premises.

He re­called: “They came in a cou­ple of times to scope the place out, up un­til then it was a typ­i­cal Thurs­day. It was pretty late on, we tend to get busy around then.

“I was at the shop counter at the time. They did look a bit sus­pi­cious, they had their hoods up but I didn’t think much of it at the time. And they went up and one has ob­vi­ously tried to jump the counter. We had my brother Abrar and Joyce [Han­ley] on at the time and she has pressed the alarm.

“You have a bit of adren­a­line in you and you feel an­gry. But it was one of those things where you can’t chal­lenge them be­cause they had a knife. It was quite trau­matic for the staff.

“I then went out the store to get as­sis­tance. The po­lice were re­ally good, they re­acted pretty quickly.”

The de­tails emerged as the pair - both 25 - pled guilty at the High Court in Glas­gow on Wed­nes­day to be­ing in­volved in the raid.

Boyd ini­tially de­nied be­ing in­volved. Bar­nett, how­ever, was later snared and he made no com­ment at first.

But, he then blurted out: “Me and my pal were just out for a pint.

“I was out my nut and thought f*** it. I jumped into the post of­fice, I got a big bun­dle of postal or­ders.”

Bar­nett added: “Does a blade count as armed rob­bery? That’s all I had.”

Bar­nett, of Coat­bridge, North La­nark­shire, then went on to con­fess he had car­ried out other raids in two Co-op stores in Bail­lieston, Glas­gow within a week last Novem­ber.

Boyd, of the city’s Bar­la­nark, was also in­volved in the lat­ter crime.

Bar­nett ad­mit­ted to three as­sault and rob­bery charges while his ac­com­plice pled guilty to two.

Lord Matthews re­manded both in cus­tody pend­ing sen­tenc­ing on Au­gust 8 in Aberdeen.

Amir, who has been the owner of the store for two years, added: “I’m pleased they have held their hands up to it and pled guilty. It’s good they will be sen­tenced, jus­tice will be done.

“It’s quite a vi­o­lent crime and I hope they learn their les­son. If they get five or six years I will be happy.”

They came in a cou­ple of times to scope the place out

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