Shopkeeper had ankles tied in shop raid by gang who travelled from England

Malcolm Danks claimed he was forced to drive others to Edinburgh to carry out the raid on Zaid's Mini Market.

Edinburgh shopkeeper had ankles tied in shop raid by gang who travelled from England iStock

A driver claimed he was forced to take part in a robbery after ferrying others from England to Edinburgh to stage the raid at a shop, a court heard.

Malcolm Danks was named as a culprit in the crime after an anonymous call was made following an appeal on the Crimewatch UK programme.

The 40-year-old was at the wheel of a silver Range Rover used by robbers who struck at a convenience store at Edinburgh’s Biggar Road on July 6, 2019.

Danks pled guilty to acting with others in an incident involving abducting and assaulting a shop worker and robbing him of a quantity of cigarettes, tobacco, bags and a sum of money.

Lord Clark at the High Court in Edinburgh said he accepted that Danks did not take part in what occurred inside the premises and that his role was as a driver.

Danks, from Birmingham, admitted, while acting with others, assaulting the shopkeeper and detaining him against his will at Zaid’s Mini Market, also known as AK Express convenience store.

The man, who was aged 55 at the time, was subjected to demands for money, seized and dragged and had his ankles tied with cable ties during the raid.

The court heard that unemployed Danks has a criminal record for 37 offences, but no previous convictions for violence.

The victim was getting ready to close the store for the day and as he was lowering shutters noticed a silver Ranger Rover parked nearby.

As he began cashing up a masked man entered the premises and shouted: “Give me the money. Give me the money.”

The shop worker was dragged into the rear of the shop and trussed with cable ties as robbers ransacked the premises for cash and cigarettes.

Advocate depute Alan Parfery said at one stage a teenage student entered the premises during the raid and saw masked males. He was told to “get the f*** out”.

After the robbery the Range Rover driven by Danks was seen to leave the scene and a 999 call was made.

The prosecutor said that approximately £3,000 in cash was stolen along with a valuable haul of cigarettes was taken.

Danks later revealed that on the morning of the robbery a man picked him up at his home and took him to where the Range Rover was parked.

He was told he would be driving to Scotland and claimed that he was subjected to threats.

The court heard that the Crown did not dispute that there was “a degree of coercion” involved in Danks’ participation in the offence.

Defence solicitor advocate Ewen Roy said: “I think it is a matter of agreement that the accused remained in the Range Rover at all times and never entered the shop.”

“When he spoke to police about the journey from England to Scotland he said he had an inkling that something of this nature was going to happen,” he said.

Lord Clark called for the preparation of a background report on Danks ahead of sentencing at the High Court in Glasgow next month. Danks was remanded in custody.

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