Betting shop robber was regular punter

Mark Greenhorn targeted the Coral Bookmakers in Bainsford
Mark Greenhorn targeted the Coral Bookmakers in Bainsford

A hapless robber targeted a betting shop where he was a regular punter.

When Mark Greenhorn left the scene the scarf covering his face dropped leaving a clear image of him on CCTV footage.

Staff recognised him as a man who had been on the premises earlier.

Unemployed Greenhorn (32) made his getaway on a bike but after the image taken from security cameras was shown to local police he was idenified.

Greenhorn admitted assaulting employees Natasha Hoehle (40) and Jade Nixon (19) at a branch of Coral Racing, in Main Street, Bainsford, on December 22 last year by brandishing a knife, demanding money and robbing them with his face partially masked.

Advocate depute David Taylor told the High Court in Edinburgh that Greenhorn had initially arrived at the premises by bike and put his head in the door and told staff: “I’ve forgot my wallet.”

The prosecutor said both the robbery victims recognised him as “a regular customer” but did not know his name.

A short time later another customer who had been in the betting shop left and Greenhorn returned with his hood pulled up and a scarf over the lower part of his face.

“Both victims were able to recognise him as the same person who had popped his head in a short time earlier,” said Mr Taylor.

He threw a bag at the staff demanding money and was armed with a knife with a blade of 20 to 25 cms.

“The accused was screaming at them to put money in the bag and shouting ‘Don’t dare call the police’,” said the advocate depute.

He grabbed the bag containing £140 and warned staff to wait five minutes before contacting the police. He made off on his bike and an alarm was activated.

CCTV footage from the premises was checked. “It was noted that as the accused left the shop, his scarf which had been covering his face had dropped, exposing his face and a clear image of him was seen,” said Mr Taylor.

Greenhorn was detained the following day and charged with assault and robbery and £55 in cash was taken from him.

Mr Taylor said the victims were traumatised at the time of the incident and were seen on CCTV “hugging each other in relief after the accused had left the premises and they had contacted the police”.

The court heard that Grenhorn has 16 previous convictions, including three for assault and was previously jailed for 16 months following a conviction for serious assault.

Defence counsel Derick Nelson said the latest offence was “a bit of a departure” for him.

Judge Lord Brailsford, deferred sentence on Greenhorn to obtain a background report on him. He was remanded in custody.