Punter robs bookies where he was regular

Mark Greenhorn targeted the bookies in Main Street, Bainsford where he was a regular punter
Mark Greenhorn targeted the bookies in Main Street, Bainsford where he was a regular punter

A robber who target a betting shop where he was a regular punter in an armed raid was jailed for 44 months today.

Mark Greenhorn partly masked his face but the scarf he was using to cover up dropped as he was leaving and a clear image of him was caught on CCTV footage.

His attempt to disguise himself failed to stop staff in the Bainsford bookies recognising him as a man who had called earlier at the premises.

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

A judge told him at the High Court in Edinburgh: “As you appreciate, the two ladies serving behind the counter must have been terrified.”

Lord Brailsford said he accepted that Greenhorn was now “remorseful” but added he had a bad record of offending as a result of a drug habit.

The judge told him he would have sentenced him to five and a half years imprisonment but for his early guilty plea.

Greenhorn earlier 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 has left the premises and they had contacted the police”.

The court heard that Greenhorn 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 Greenhorn had targeted a local shop where he was well-known and the offence was “doomed to failure”.

Mr Nelson said: “The first thing he said to me when I consulted with him was ‘I deserve what is coming to me’.”

“He does feel terrible for what he has done. He reached a new low when he carried out this offence.”