HMA v STEVEN DOUGLAS, ROBERT MCINDOE, ANDREW PATON

At the High Court in Edinburgh Lord Boyd of Duncansby sentenced the accused after they pled guilty to robbery at a jewellers store in Ayr in November 2013.

On sentencing Lord Boyd made the following statement in court:

“Monday 4th November last year must have been like any other day in Wallace Allan Jewellers in Ayr. The staff would have been attending to their duties. Two of them were working on a display cabinet. Suddenly and without warning two of you, you Robert McIndoe and you Andrew Paton burst into the shop. You were masked. You had been driven there by Steven Douglas and he waited outside so that after the robbery you could all make good your escape. You Mr McIndoe were carrying an imitation hand gun which you pointed at the shop assistants threatening to shoot them if they phoned the police. You pursued one of them into the back shop where she successfully locked the door and activated the panic alarm.

Meanwhile you Andrew Paton used the axe in an unsuccessful attempt to smash a display cabinet.

This was a determined and planned operation, even if ineptly executed, to rob the shop using the threat of extreme violence.

The staff whom you terrorised are to be commended for their courage and quick thinking in thwarting the attack. Had it not been for their actions I have no doubt that you would have succeeded in the robbery. I have read the witness impact statements and it was clearly a terrifying experience for all of them. In an effort to deny you access to the display cabinets one member of staff quickly shut a display cabinet inadvertently trapping the fingers on Ms Andrew’s right hand. She sustained a nasty and painful injury from which she has not yet fully recovered.

All three of you profess to feel regret. All three of you profess to understand the fear and terror which your actions must have created. I am sure that you genuinely do feel regret that you now find yourselves before the High Court. So far as the impact on the shop assistants is concerned you had plenty of time to think of that before you embarked on this enterprise.

I accept that the firearm was imitation and I make some allowance for that. Nevertheless its use was clearly to terrorise the shop staff to comply with your demands.

 Steven Douglas

Your job was to act as the driver. You might think that that was a minor role and that you are distanced from the violence inside the shop. But without your presence Mr McIndoe and Mr Paton could not have undertaken this robbery. Despite the terms of the plea I am prepared to deal with you on the basis that you were not aware that an imitation firearm was going to be used. I am also prepared to accept that you had a lesser role in the planning than the other two. Nevertheless you participated in an assault and robbery of a jeweller’s shop where you knew that a weapon would be used and violence threatened.

I have listened carefully to what Mr Keenan has said on your behalf and I have read the CJSWR which is largely positive. I have also been given an impressive bundle of testimonials on your behalf and clearly you are well thought of by those with whom you come in contact. You have a conviction for assault and assault to injury though I accept with a non-custodial disposal. Overall I consider that I can deal with you a more lenient manner than with your co-accused. 

Had it not been for your plea the sentence would have been 5 years imprisonment. However I recognise the value in an early plea and I will discount the sentence to one of 3 years 4 months backdated to 6th November 2013.

 Robert McIndoe

From reading the Criminal Justice Social Work Report you appear to have been the one that came up with this enterprise and you took a full and active part in both its planning and execution

You have 2 previous convictions but I accept that these are not significant. You like the others are to be commended for the early plea.

On charge 1 had it not been for the plea I would have sentenced you to 7 years imprisonment. Allowing a discount for the early plea you will go to prison for 4 years 8 months. On charge 2 you will go to prison for 2 years discounted from 3 years. The sentences will run concurrently and be backdated to 6th November 2013.

Andrew Paton

You role in this matter is much the same as Robert McIndoe. Both of you took an active participation in both its planning and execution.

I have taken everything that Mr Findlay has said on your behalf into account and the terms of the Criminal Justice Social Work Report. As Mr Findlay says you have been candid in your acceptance of the motive behind the attempted robbery. You have a High Court conviction for which you were sentenced to 27 months in a Young Offenders Institution. I accept that this occurred when you were younger.  I am also prepared to accept that you recognise that you are in at a turning point in your life. You can either go down the route of criminality or turn away from it. That to some extent mitigates the effect of the earlier conviction. Nevertheless my duty is to ensure the protection of the public.

The sentence of this court on charge 1 is an extended sentence of 7 years, of which 5 years will be the custodial part with a two year extension. 4 months of the custodial part is attributable to the bail aggravation. Had it not been for the early plea the custodial part of the sentence would have been 7 years 6 months.

On charge 2 the sentence is one of 2 years imprisonment, discounted from 3. These sentences will run concurrently and be backdated to 6th November 2013”.

 

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