An armed robber who wrote out his plan on a pizza box for a raid on a casino that netted him £48,000 in cash and gaming chips has been jailed for four years and nine months.
Hassan Fallah bought a large recon knife and a tactical face mask online before committing the assault and robbery at a Genting casino, where he was a member.
The High Court in Edinburgh heard the money and casino chips taken in the raid have not been recovered.
Following the raid at the Genting Casino, at Fountain Park, in Edinburgh, police found the pizza box, along with a notebook and laptop at Fallah’s room in a city hostel.
He wrote on the pizza box: “Here get changed become place to anonymously be-hoodie-mask+face covering before-knife- bag change of clothes getaway plan.”
He also made a wish list of expensive items titled “How Much Money Do I Really Need”.
In among documents he had written “robbery” numerous times and used the phrase “I won’t get caught, stay within budget”.
In a notebook he wrote: “I got to hide money – not flaunt it too much not spend it in stores.”
He indicated that the money would not be kept at the hostel and the chips might be buried.
During the robbery Fallah, 23, pulled out the large knife and forced a casino employee to unlock a secure door to access the building where he brandished the weapon at a further employee as he demanded money, before fleeing with the cash and chips.
Advocate depute Louise Beattie said: “This was a planned and targeted robbery which involved the use of a knife and was carried out four months after his release from prison on a 13 month sentence.”
Fallah was previously jailed for shoplifting and possession of a knife and racially abusing and assaulting security staff, including spitting at them.
He admitted assaulting Ignacio Perez at the Genting Casino on August 9, 2021 by brandishing a knife at him, compelling him to unlock a secure door at the premises and robbing him of a mobile phone.
He also admitted assaulting a second employee Murray Brake by brandishing the weapon at him, demanding money, entering an area behind a cash counter and robbing him of £7,345 in money and £40,800 of casino chips.
A judge told Fallah that a considerable amount of preplanning and thought had gone into how to carry out the robbery and how to spend the money afterwards.
Lord Tyre said: “I am in no doubt that the only sentence I can reasonably impose is a sentence of imprisonment.”
He said he took into account guidelines for sentencing young people and told Fallah that the sentence imposed would have been significantly longer if he was over 25.
The court heard that unemployed Fallah, who was on benefits, had left the hostel he was living wearing a dark jacket and trousers and carrying a holdall before the robbery.
He went to the underground car park at the casino and was seen to have changed into a hooded puffa jacket. Mr Perez took a break about 1am and went to the car park for a cigarette when Fallah approached him wearing a balaclava and pulled the knife from the waistband of his trousers.
He then instructed the hospitality worker to take him into the casino through a side door and at knife point followed him through staff corridors before they went to a cash desk.
He banged the knife on the desk and demanded that Mr Brake fill a bag with case, stating: “I want all the f*****g money, come on.”
He jumped the counter as he helped himself to cash and chips before fleeing.
Staff were able to make an identification after the robbery and police turned up at his accommodation where they found £195 in cash and the other items, including the laptop with searches for “Genting Edinburgh,” “casino rob” and “casino anti-surveillance”.
After he was arrested Fallah was interviewed but made no comment.
Defence counsel Kenneth Cloggie said it was accepted that a jail sentence had to be imposed but added that there were no physical injuries inflicted during the offence.