An armed robber who took part in a terrifying raid on a lone shop worker has been jailed for six years and nine months.
Darren Ross brandished a rusty hammer at his victim while his accomplice held up an axe for him to see.
The pair fled from Dennis’s General Merchant Store, in Montrose Street, Brechin, with nearly £2,000 of stock and a quantity of cash after threatening the co-owner Callum McDonald.
Judge Lord Beckett told 39-year-old Ross: “This was a terrifying, premeditated assault and robbery on a shopkeeper of mature years in the early hours when almost no one was around.”
The High Court in Edinburgh heard Ross had brandished the weapon, threatened Mr McDonald and his family and demanded money after targeting the shop early on September 29, 2019.
Advocate depute Peter Ferguson QC said Mr McDonald, 61, had arrived to open the shop before 7am.
He was later in the back of the premises and returned to the front to find Ross and his accomplice running behind the counter with their faces partially masked.
Mr Ferguson said: “One male was holding up an axe to let Mr McDonald see it. It was approximately 14 inches in total length.”
Ross was armed with a rusty, old hammer.
One of the robbers asked where the money was and told the victim not to press any panic button because he knew where he stayed and that he had a wife.
Ross helped himself to cartons of cigarettes and ordered Mr McDonald to get to the floor before a customer came into the shop and they fled.
CCTV and DNA recovered from clothing led police to Ross.
Defence counsel Lorraine Glancy said Ross, from Dundee, had a long-term drug problem and was “in the throes of an addiction to street valium”.
She said: “It is an addiction which means he has spent much of his adult life in prison.”
Lord Beckett told Ross – who admitted the armed robbery – that he had an “extraordinary record” and jailed him for four years and nine months for the robbery.
He also imposed a consecutive two year sentence for other offences, including stealing a more than £32,000 worth of property – including a Mercedes C Class, jewellery and handbag from a property in Alyth on Spetember 27 or 28, 2019.
Ross committed the thefts alongside Barry Jackson, 35, of Dundee, who was jailed for 43 months after admitting the offences.
Jackson also admitted breaking into a house in Union Terrace, Dundee on September 25, 2019 and stealing car keys, a phone and holdall. He also stole a car from the driveway.