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Lout jailed after drunken robbery bid with butter knife

By Ashleigh McDonald

Published 02/09/2016

An east Belfast man who tried to rob a shop armed with a butter knife after drinking 24 cans of Harp and consuming 15 diazepam tablets has been handed a five-year sentence
An east Belfast man who tried to rob a shop armed with a butter knife after drinking 24 cans of Harp and consuming 15 diazepam tablets has been handed a five-year sentence

An east Belfast man who tried to rob a shop armed with a butter knife after drinking 24 cans of Harp and consuming 15 diazepam tablets has been handed a five-year sentence.

Scott McCormick, who appeared at Belfast Crown Court with 114 previous convictions, had no recollection of the early morning attempted robbery, during which he was restrained by a member of staff.

The 28-year old, from Lichfield Avenue, was informed that he would serve half his sentence in prison and half on licence upon his release.

The court heard McCormick entered the Co-Op store on the Beersbridge Road at 7.45am on January 16 this year.

Once inside, he demanded that the cash register be opened, before walking behind the counter and lunging at a male member of staff.

Prosecuting barrister Philip Henry said that the staff member thought the demand for money was a joke until McCormick started swinging at him with a butter knife.

The defendant launched an attack on the employee, who was able not only to disarm McCormick, but was also able to restrain the would-be robber behind the counter until police arrived. Mr Henry also revealed that during the incident, the defendant threatened the staff member, saying: "I know who you are, I'm going to kill you."

When he was finally deemed fit for interview at Musgrave Street police station, McCormick told officers he had been drinking the whole day prior to the attempted robbery.

He also said he had drunk 24 cans of Harp and had taken 15 diazepam tablets.

Mr Henry said that McCormick "accepted it must have been him, but he had no memory of the incident."

He subsequently pleaded guilty to three offences - attempted robbery, threats to kill and possession of an offensive weapon.

Sending McCormick to the five-year sentence, Judge Kerr praised the staff member who restrained him for his "commendable bravery."

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