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Teenage thug tied Aberdeen petrol station worker’s hands together as he brandished baseball bat

The Shell petrol station on Wellington Road, Aberdeen. Picture by Jim Irvine
The Shell petrol station on Wellington Road, Aberdeen. Picture by Jim Irvine

A teenage thug bound a terrified petrol station employee’s hands together with cable ties as he threatened him with a baseball bat and emptied the till.

Darren McWilliam appeared at the High Court in Edinburgh today via a video link to Polmont Young Offenders’ Institution following the incident at the Shell petrol station on Wellington Road in Aberdeen on October 12 last year.

Advocate Alex Prentice QC said that at the time of the robbery at the petrol station the victim, Kalaivanan Shanmugam, was working alone just before midnight.

The 19-year-old robber appeared dressed all in black with his face covered and holding a baseball bat.

He had a ready looped cable tie and told Mr Shanmugam to put his hands in it.

Mr Prentice said: “The accused brandished the baseball bat and repeated his instruction, stating ‘If you don’t put your hand in the loop you’ll get hurt. If you do something, you’ll get hurt. I’ve a gun in my pocket’.”

The victim put his hands in the cable tie and the intruder tightened it and asked him how to open the tills.

McWilliam pulled open the tills and emptied them of money before filling bags with packs of cigarettes.

Mr Shanmugam pressed the panic alarm and was freed of his bonds by a passerby.

McWilliam’s DNA was found on a cable tie that was left behind and he was detained 12 days later at Provost Watt Drive, in Aberdeen.

A mobile phone seized from him was found to contain messages related to selling cigarettes.

Cigarettes worth more than £2,600 were taken in the garage raid along with £110.

Police later recovered a balaclava from a flat in West North Street, in Aberdeen, which was McWilliam’s home address.

Mr Prentice said: “Kalaivanan Shanmugam was shocked by what happened. He stated that he was panicking as he was worried about his family if something happened to him.”

After he was freed on bail McWilliam struck again as staff were closing up McColls on Gardner Drive in the Kincorth area of Aberdeen on March 23.

Deputy store manager Edward Still was pulling down the shutter when McWilliam appeared holding a knife.

The teenager, who was wearing latex gloves, demanded to be taken to the safe.

He forced staff to open the safe and held out a bag for the money to be put in.

McWilliam zipped up his bag and left the store after saying: “Sorry about this guys.”

He made off with £2,665 in cash from the safe and cigarettes valued at £842.

McWilliam was later tracked down to an address in George Street, in Huntly, and arrested.

The judge, Lord Fairley, ordered that a background report be prepared on McWilliam ahead of sentencing next month.

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