A teenage thug who tied up and robbed a terrified petrol station attendant in Aberdeen has been spared time behind bars.
Darren McWilliam, 19, raided the Shell petrol station on Wellington Road just before midnight on October 12 last year.
He then carried out another armed robbery at a shop in Kincorth in March.
At the High Court in Glasgow judge Lord Fairley said that in 99 out of 100 cases he would have imposed a custodial sentence.
But McWilliam, who will now be housesd in Aberdeen by the social work department, was instead ordered to perform 220 hours unpaid work and attend courses in anger management and substance abuse.
Lord Fairley said: “You have pleaded guilty to two charges of assault and robbery. Both were of shopkeepers late at night using weapons to threaten them.
“This must have been a terrifying experience for your victims, but you did not use the weapons to inflict any actual violence to anyone.
“You apppear to have difficulty controlling impulsive behaviour. This is an issue you must address.
“Your criminal record in disturbing. This is to try to stop you breaking the law and keep you out of prison. The benefits to you and to society are obvious.”
Armed with a baseball bat and claiming he had a gun in his pocket McWilliam tied up Kalaivanan Shanmugam before fleeing with cash and cigarettes during the first incident.
He struck again as staff were closing up McColls on Gardner Drive in Kincorth on March 23. Again he made off with cash and cigarettes.
He took more than £2,000 worth of cigarettes on each occasion.
McWillian, who has spent four months in Polmont young Offenders’ Institution, appeared in court via a video link.
It is believed he will be given a travel voucher to allow him to return to Aberdeen and once there will be housed and tagged.