Robbers slashed and battered shopkeeper during armed raid in Bo'ness

A shopkeeper suffered a knife wound and was bludgeoned by a baseball bat during a violent robbery at his store.

By Court Reporter
Tuesday, 14th July 2020, 2:46 pm
Updated Tuesday, 14th July 2020, 2:49 pm

Knife-wielding robbers Sam Moore (29) and Kevin Doyle (34) burst into the Premier Store in Grangepans, Bo’ness, assaulted the man and helped themselves to a haul of alcohol, but dropped most of the bottles when they scrambled outside, leaving a trail of broken glass in the street.

The incident was captured on CCTV and Moore and Doyle were soon in custody.

It was stated at the sentencing hearing in the High Court in Edinburgh today two young children were terrified after they witnessed the violent event unfold in front of them.

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The robbers were sentenced at the High Court in Edinburgh

Lord Burns told Moore the offence was aggravated by the use of a knife which he must have taken with him.

The judge added: “The initial stages of this, as you must have known, were carried out in the presence of two young children both of whom were terrified at this event.”

Lord Burns said the shopkeeper put up “courageous resistance” but was left scarred, sustaining a five inch cut to the palm of his left hand which had to be closed with 13 stitches.

Lord Burns told Moore: “I accept, with the benefit of hindsight, you are remorseful for your actions, but your record shows you are capable of violence.”

The judge added while Moore claimed to have little recollection of the crime he must have formed a plan to carry out the robbery, as he had armed himself.

Moore was jailed for four years and two months and will be kept under supervision for a further two years upon his release.

Doyle, meanwhile, who was said to have a “significant record for crimes of violence” stretching back to 2003, was sentenced to four years and four months in prison with supervision and monitoring for a further three years after his release.

Lord Burns said: “You, along with your co-accused, pled guilty at an early stage to this assault and robbery. You took a lesser role, I accept, but you embarked on this enterprise knowing that violence was inevitable.”

The pair earlier admitted the charges of robbery and assaulting the shopkeeper – repeatedly trying to stab him on the head and body, slashed his hand, struck him with a baseball bat and chased him from the shop at knife point to his injury and permanent disfigurement – which they committed on December 28 last year.

Moore had been freed under two earlier bail orders granted at Falkirk Sheriff Court at the time of the offence.

Advocate depute Jane Farquharson QC said at the time of the raid two boys, aged 10 and 11, were in the shop buying soft drinks when the robbers entered. Moore pushed the youngsters out of the way.

The prosecutor said: “Both boys have since expressed the terror they felt at what they were witnessing. They were, however, able to run out of the shop.”

Moore climbed on the counter and the shopkeeper tried to push him back, but the raider began to lunge at him with a knife.

The shopkeeper then picked up a bat and Moore jumped over the counter and went towards him with the knife.

Miss Farquharson said: “Moore repeatedly lunged towards the shopkeeper, who successfully deflected a number of attempted blows by grabbing Moore's arm.”

However, Moore managed to disarm the victim and passed the bat to Doyle.

The shopkeeper managed to push his way out from behind the counter but was hit by Doyle on the back of the head and his back with the baseball bat.

He ran outside and tried to hold the shop door closed on his pursuers, but was overpowered. The robbers left the premises but Moore immediately went back in and helped himself to eight bottles of drink, including Buckfast tonic wine, vodka and rose wine.

Miss Farquharson said: “He selected a number of bottles of alcohol and then left. He dropped most of the bottles when he got outside, causing them to smash.”

When police arrived they arrested Doyle in Cowdenhill Road, Bo'ness, and detained Moore in a nearby house.

Defence counsel David Moggach said Moore was a regular customer at the shop and made no attempt to disguise himself during the robbery.

Mr Moggach said: “As robberies go it must be one of the most inept and ham-fisted.”

He added Moore had told him it was “beyond stupid” and he could not believe he did it.

The defence counsel said Moore, who works as a construction labourer, had been on a five day bender consuming drink and drugs.

Wendy Hay, counsel for Doyle, said: “He has expressed significant remorse for all those involved and particularly the two boys who were in the shop at the time.”

Moore and Doyle followed the sentencing proceedings via video link to Low Moss prison where they have been held on remand.