Drugged-up woman put behind bars over knifepoint robberies

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A heroin addict who robbed two shop assistants at knifepoint, was jailed for two years.

Jedburgh Sheriff Court heard how 21-year-old Claire Condie entered The Little Shop in Weensland Road at 5.05am with a hat and scarf covering her face. The male shopkeeper was left “shaken” after she produced a knife, then robbed him of cash, alcohol and cigarettes totalling £45.

At 9.25pm the same day, Condie went into Londis in Sandbed, presented a knife at a female employee, and demanded money. She left with cash, alcohol and cigarettes worth £115.

Condie, described as a prisoner, appeared on indictment and admitted two offences of assault and robbery on December 21, committed while on an ASBO.

Procurator fiscal Morag McLintock told how the accused had entered The Little Shop in the early hours of a Tuesday morning wearing a hat, and with a scarf over her face. “She approached the male shopkeeper and presented a knife at him, then robbed him of cash, alcohol and cigarettes, and left the shop,” said Ms McLintock.

The fiscal said the total haul was £45 and there had been no recovery.

“The shopkeeper was left shaken and contacted police,” she added.

At 9.25pm, Condie went into Londis and approached a female working there, presented a knife at her and demanded money.

She left with cash, alcohol and cigarettes worth £115, and the employee immediately pressed the alarm, and police attended.

Enquires led to the accused who handed over the clothing she had worn during the robberies.

“She said she had been heavily under the influence of drugs at the time,” continued Ms McLintock, who added that the knife had never been recovered.

“She said she didn’t know where it went due to her intoxicated state,” concluded the fiscal.

Defence lawyer Ross Dow said his client had been living in Hawick at the time.

“She recently failed in an attempt to address her heroin addiction through a Drug Treatment and Testing Order (DTTO),” he explained, “and in December was in an intoxicated state having taken heroin and valium.”

Mr Dow said Condie didn’t know what she was doing.

“Her lifestyle was desperate when she committed these offences,” he continued, “and she has struggled to properly explain why, other than she was high on drugs.” Mr Dow said Condie was “disgusted” by her behaviour and immediately confessed her crimes.

“She told police everything she could remember, the only detail she couldn’t being what happened to the weapon,” said Mr Dow.

He said Condie confessed, knowing she would be jailed.

“This is an extreme example of what can happen when illicit drugs take hold of someone to such an extent,” he continued.

He said Condie had “a chronic addiction to heroin” adding that his client had offered to help police with other crimes.

“She exorcised her demons and everything she knew, she got off her chest, so that once she is released from prison she can get on with her life,” he concluded.

Sheriff Kevin Drummond told Condie, who appeared from custody: “It is sad to see this situation, where in 2008 you were placed on a DTTO and given an opportunity through the system to address your drug addiction.

“You failed to do so, and in 2009 were sent to prison for an offence involving a knife.

“In 2010, you have already had two sentences of imprisonment, and here you are admitting offences of robbery by presenting a knife at people serving the public, who must be protected.

“It is to your credit that you have been so candid,” he added.

The two-year jail term was backdated to December 24 when Condie was first remanded.