A gunman who walked into a restaurant where he once worked and demanded money has been jailed for four years.
Paul Mulholland, 47, raided the Shimla Cottage in Coatbridge, Lanarkshire, while clutching an air pistol wrapped in newspaper.
A manager recognised his voice, but Mulholland still demanded cash.
Mulholland fled empty-handed after another worker confronted him, and then chased after him.
The man quizzed Mulholland as to why he was committing the crime – and even offered him £10.
Mulholland pled guilty to a charge of assault with attempt to rob at the restaurant on March 10 last year.
At the High Court in Glasgow, judge Lady Stacey told Mulholland: “This court cannot tolerate people who go into restaurants with guns, imitation or not, and demand money.
“You went into this restaurant and presented an imitation firearm and I do not know why you did it, although I accept it is out of character. I have to protect the public from you.”
Mulholland’s crime was captured on CCTV.
Prosecutor Bernard Ablett said Mulholland had been a delivery driver there in 2012 but quit due to a back injury.
He added: “There was no dispute when he left his employment. The last time he was then seen there before this incident was around October 2018 as a customer.”
On March 10, 2019, staff were preparing to close for the night when Mulholland – dressed in black with his hood up – walked in holding the weapon.
He shouted: “Give me your money.”
Mr Ablett said: “The staff member recognised his voice when he spoke and was later able to tell the police his name.”
The court heard there was nothing in the till other than some coins and receipts.
Mulholland pointed the weapon at another worker, who held up a chair to keep him away.
He then went after the raider when he escaped.
Mr Ablett said: “He chased him to a point where they ran out of breath.
“He asked Mulholland: ‘Why are you doing this?’. He offered him a ten-pound note, but Mulholland stated: ‘I don’t want your tenner’.”
Mulholland, of Glenboig, was later found by police at a taxi rank.
The air pistol was discovered in his carrier bag. The court heard the weapon was designed to fire plastic ball bearings.
Defence counsel Allan McLeod said: “Mr Mulholland has no memory of the events. It was very much out of character.”
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