Apologetic robber jailed for armed raid on bookmaker

Jamie Smith branded a knife as he stole money from a Grangemouth betting shop.

An apologetic robber who targeted a lone woman worker in an armed raid on a bookmaker has been jailed for four years.

Jamie Smith, 33, produced a knife as he demanded money and access to tills at the betting shop in Grangemouth, in Stirlingshire.

Smith escaped with £419 but was later detained by police and said: “I am sorry for what I done to her.”

A judge told him at the High Court in Edinburgh: “Those serving the public in the course of their employment must be protected from persons like you.”

Lord Armstrong said he had read a victim impact statement and added: “It is clear from its contents that your criminal actions have had a continuing serious, detrimental effect on her life.”

Smith, a prisoner in Edinburgh, earlier admitted assaulting Megan Scott and robbing her at Ladbroke Racing at La Porte Precinct, in Grangemouth, on January 14 this year.

He also pleaded guilty to possessing a knife.

Lord Armstrong said he noted Smith had expressed remorse, but told him that if he had been convicted after a trial he would have been jailed for six years.

The judge pointed out that Smith had 70 previous convictions and was previously jailed for 40 months for robbery.

Smith was caught on camera staging the latest raid and CCTV footage was earlier shown to the court.

Unemployed Smith could be seen jumping over a counter before pursuing the employee.

Advocate depute Isla Davie QC said that minutes before the robbery Smith came into the premises and asked when closing time was before leaving.

He returned a short time later and went up to the cash desk and said “excuse me” before jumping over it.

He said to the victim: “Give me your money. I need money.”

As he approached she noticed that he had a knife.

Miss Davie said that Smith appeared “panicky”, telling the worker that he needed money and was not going to hurt her.

After he emptied cash from tills he fled from the premises.

The court heard that he lost his employment and ran up debts.

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