A man has pleaded guilty to assaulting and robbing a hairdresser of £200,000 of jewellery after he heard her give evidence in court.
Brian Martin, 58, interrupted proceedings at the High Court in Edinburgh on Tuesday to apologise to Sarah Gloag, daughter of Stagecoach tycoon Ann.
The wheelchair user had spent time listening to the hairdresser tell the court how two men forced their way into her Perthshire home in January 2015.
Ms Gloag told a jury how she had a knife held to her throat and was threatened before she and her husband Sundeep were tied up.
As the court was hearing details about how her mother Ann contacted police moments after the two men fled the property, Martin stopped proceedings.
From the dock of courtroom number four at the High Court in Edinburgh, Martin shouted an apology to Ms Gloag, who was standing in the witness box just a few feet away.
Martin – who had spent three days denying robbing Ms Gloag and other charges – admitted his guilt and said: “I’m sorry Mrs Gloag. Please accept my heartfelt apologies – you and your family shouldn’t have to go through this.”
Addressing temporary judge Paul Arthurson QC, Martin then said: “Your honour – I wish to change my plea from not guilty to guilty.”
As she left court, Ms Gloag looked to Martin and said “thank you”.
The admission of guilt came on the third day of proceedings against Martin and another man, Christopher McMultan, 40, who denies all charges brought against him by prosecutors.
As well as admitting robbing Ms Gloag on 19 January this year, Martin pleaded guilty to robbing David Gilfoyle and Joanne Miles at a house in Muthill, Perthshire, the previous day.
The press were unable to report details of Tuesday’s proceedings after reporting restrictions were imposed by judge Arthurson.
However, the order was lifted late on Tuesday afternoon and the media are now free to report what happened.
Yesterday, sentence on Martin was deferred until a later date. He was then called to give evidence as a Crown witness. But Martin told advocate depute Paul Brown, prosecuting, that he could not remember who his accomplice was.
He told the advocate that he couldn’t remember committing the robbery, but felt after hearing Ms Gloag’s evidence that he must have been responsible.
The trial against McMultan continues.