Aug 26 2011 by Stephen Robertson, Stirling Observer Friday
A HAMMER-wielding robber who failed to open a till during an armed raid on a shop in Cowie was jailed for three years yesterday (Thursday).
Gavin Landsborough (19) donned a balaclava before walking into the Pic-n-Save convenience shop, at Mount Oliphant in the village, on January 4 this year.
The teenager was armed with the hammer and told employee Syed Rahman (45): “Open the till. Give me the money.”
Landsborough then tried and failed to open the cash register himself and grabbed packets of cigarettes, lighters and gas refill canisters before fleeing.
Mr Rahman, who had feared for his safety, pressed a panic alarm and police were alerted.
A description of the raider was circulated and officers on their way to the scene saw Landsborough, who was wearing dark clothing, nearby.
Other officers checked CCTV footage from the shop and it was found a figure captured on it matched his description.
Lord Mackay told Landsborough that he would have faced a four year sentence of detention for the offence, but for his guilty plea.
The judge said he had admitted a serious charge of armed robbery in a shop in a residential area of the village.
Lord Mackay said: “Those who own and work in such shops provide a valuable service to members of the community. The court has to protect them from violence of the nature that you used.”
He also ordered that Landsborough, from Cowie, but currently in Polmont young offenders’ institution, should be supervised for a further year.
Lord Mackay told the teenager at the High Court in Edinburgh that unless he stopped offending he would spend “more and more time in custody”.
The judge said he took into account that from an early stage Landsborough had admitted responsibility for the crime and his personal circumstances, including the deaths of his mother and father during his childhood.
Defence counsel Drew McKenzie said: “There is remorse for his actions, not in the sense of simply the consequences for himself, but the effect of his actions on the shopkeeper and also a recognition of his conduct and unacceptable behaviour on the wider community.”
He said Landsborough recognised the role played by drink and drugs and “negative influences” in his offending.
Landsborough earlier pleaded guilty to assaulting Mr Rahman by presenting a hammer and robbing him.