A robber who left his distressed victim in need of counselling has been sentenced today at the high court in Edinburgh to ten months in jail.
Morris Hodgkiss was found guilty of attempted robbery on Jeffery James Jewellery shop, Haddington on the 7th October of this year.
Hodgkiss, who has previously been convicted 30 times for a string of offences including assault, robbery and breach of the peace, was on probation after a previous prison sentence, and under the influence of alcohol and diazepam when he entered the jewellery shop with his hood up and a white mask covering his face apart from his eyes, where there was only the proprietor present.
Caroline Brand, who is to give up the shop when the lease is up in 2012, is said to be greatly distressed at the incident and has been receiving counselling and support since.
Hodgkiss was said to tell Brand there was no need to ‘press any buttons’, and a passer-by Martin Blearman banged on the window, at which point Hodgkiss fled. Blearman managed to retrieve Hodgkiss’s car registration which led to his arrest. In his bag which he took into the shop, police found among other things masking tape and a hammer, which the judge described as a copycat offence of the first which put him in prison where he tied up a shop assistant. The judge said that Hodgkiss was at a high risk of re offending and a custodial sentence was the only option in this case.
A woman was assaulted and had her handbag stolen in Duncan Place in Leith early yesterday morning, according to police.
The 42-year-old victim was knocked to the ground by her assailant and kicked several times before he made off with her bag.
Police are describing the attack as “opportunistic,” by a man who decided to take advantage of a lone woman.
A Lothian and Borders Police spokesman added: “Fortunately, the victim did not require medical attention and received only minor injuries, but she was left extremely upset by what happened.”
The woman had walked from the Lloyds TSB cash machine at the foot of Leith Walk, past Leith Primary School and across Duncan Place when the man attacked her.
The robbery happened at 6.20am and the suspect made off towards Leith Links. Police are appealing for any witnesses who may have been in the area at the time of the assault. The suspect is described only as being white, 6ft tall and with a slim to medium build.
This is the latest in a number of crimes in the Leith area of Edinburgh. A man appeared in court yesterday over an alleged armed robbery in Salamander Court in Leith. The burglary happened less than a ten minute walk from where the female victim was assaulted.
A three-figure sum of money and electrical equipment was stolen during the raid on Sunday September 26.
David Sinclair from Victim Support Scotland, said: “Regrettably, in society today, we are seeing attacks in the street in broad daylight becoming commonplace. As the leading victim support organisation in Scotland we deal with upwards of 100,000 victim referrals every year so a spate of attacks in a particular area of the capital city is not news to us although of course we hope the police catch the perpetrators who carry out these attacks.”
A teenager has admitted the killing of a Chinese takeaway driver in Edinburgh.
John Reid, 16, pleaded guilty at Edinburgh High Court to charges of culpable homicide, which took place on August 11.
Simon San, who was born in Vietnam of Chinese Origin worked as a delivery driver of Yong Hua Gardens Takeaway. Mr San died of a head injury after being punched by Reid.
“He did not stagger, he fell straight down. The back of his head connected with a flat section of the pavement. I would describe the noise as a sickening thud. He was lying on his back and did not move. I knew straight away he was in trouble,” described by the witness, Callum Milne.
The teenager also took part in a robbery at a home of a disabled mother and her four children several months before. He burst into the home with two other robbers at around 11.50pm on January 11.”I was told again and again that me and my kids would be stabbed to death if we didn’t help them.” said by the mother.
Mr San was described as a hard working, loyal man who never did any harm by his family. ” The San family will never stop grieving for the loss of their much-loved innocent son and brother.” heard from the court. His closed friend said the loss of Mr San had destroyed the family.
Reid allegedly picked on Mr San’s vehicle just because it is a Smart car. Lord Matthews thought the teenager’s behaviour was “unacceptable feral activity”.
The murder is being handled in the High Court in Edinburgh. John Reid will be sentenced next month.
The assault of a man and robbery of a betting shop within a few streets and days of each other has prompted Lothian and Borders Police to issue a reassuring message to local residents.
A 43-year-old man was attacked on the afternoon of Sunday 25th October as he walked the Water of Leith, near its visitor centre on Slateford Road. He was approached by three teenage boys who demanded money and punched the man in the head. Although the victim was not badly hurt, he was left shaken.
In another incident on Wednesday 4th November, a man entered Ladbrokes on Kingsknowe North Road wearing a black Halloween mask and brandishing a knife. He fled in the direction of Longstone Inn pub having obtained a three-figure sum of money.
A police spokesman encouraged residents in the south-west of the city centre not to be alarmed as these are “two isolated incidents and in no way do they reflect a common trend.”
When asked if there were any plan to improve safety in the area, he said “Our officers already conduct regular foot and mobile patrols,” and that “there were no plans to increase their frequency at present.”
He emphasised that “the area enjoys a relatively low crime rate,” and local residents “should be reassured that police will continue to work with partners in the local community in order to make it an even safer place to live.”