Nephew of ex-loyalist leader jailed for armed raid

The gun raid was on the Menstrie Filling Station. Picture: Google
The gun raid was on the Menstrie Filling Station. Picture: Google
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THE nephew of a former loyalist leader was jailed for eight years after staging a terrifying raid on a lone woman worker before making his getaway in a distinctive car.

Mark Adair bought the red Honda Civic Type R hatchback before using it to get to and from the scene of the robbery.

The vehicle was caught on CCTV travelling to Menstrie and driving away from the Clackmannanshire village.

33-year-old Adair, nephew of Johnny “Mad Dog” Adair, was later detained in Clackmannan after armed police were deployed following his gun raid on Menstrie Filling Station on December 28 last year.

A judge told him at the High Court in Edinburgh that he had left his victim “severely traumatised” in the wake of the crime.

During the robbery Adair threatened to shoot the woman. He struck as employee Helen Baillie was getting ready to end her shift and close up the shop.

Lord Jones said: “She said you threatened to shoot her and she believed you were going to do so. You also threatened her family.”

The judge pointed out that the victim had been unable to return to work following the crime.

He told Adair: “This was an offence of the utmost gravity.” The judge ordered that he be imprisoned for a further three months for breaching bail.

The victim earlier told Adair’s trial at the High Court in Edinburgh she was aware of the door opening and noticed a person wearing a balaclava, but at first did not think too much of it as it was cold.

But she said the intruder moved towards her and pulled a gun out and demanded: “Where is the f*****g money?”

Ms Baillie said the black handgun was pointed “straight towards me”. The robber made repeated demands for cash.

The victim said she opened the till which she thought contained £100. Adair grabbed the money but kept asking where the rest of it was.

She pointed out where a safe was on the premises but told him she did not have keys.

She told Adair’s trial: “I didn’t know how to open it. He told me to get the keys or he was going to shoot me. I kept saying I didn’t know how to do it. He kept saying he would shoot me if I didn’t get the keys.”

The victim told the court that she felt scared during the raid and added: “He pointed the gun at me and said to me that he knew where I stayed, he knew where my family stayed and he was coming back to shoot me.”

The masked robber turned and left and Ms Baillie stayed in an office until she heard the door sound before she ran into the front shop and pressed the alarm.

The court heard that the raider had an Irish accent which appeared to be genuine and that the weapon looked like a real gun.

Ms Baillie was later shown items of clothing, including a jacket and cap and a gun by police. She told advocate depute Alyson Forbes the she felt sick when she was shown items.

She said of the jacket: “I recognised it as soon as they showed me it. I started getting flashbacks as soon as I saw it.”

Mechanic James Laurie had gone to the garage and found Ms Baillie in a distressed state.

Dog walker John Muirhead was out in Menstrie when he spotted the Honda Civic parked up. He said: “It just looked like a nice car.....It looked like a sporty one.” He said the car had “sporty seat” in it and a fin along the back.

He said it was the only car that was not frozen over.

Adair, described as a prisoner, had denied assaulting and robbing Ms Baillie but was earlier found guilty by a jury in less than an hour.

He presented a replica pistol at her, repeatedly demanded money, threatened to shoot her, forced her to open the till and tried to compel her to open a safe.

He was also convicted of possessing the imitation firearm.

Defence counsel Brian McConnachie QC said Adair was originally from Belfast and has “a notorious family member who is his uncle”.

He said that although Adair had no involvement in The Troubles he became “a target for various organisations” and was effectively advised to leave Northern Ireland.

Mr McConnachie said that while he was still living there he had witnessed a horrific murder and as a result developed post traumatic stress disorder.

The defence counsel said prison authorities have been concerned for Adair’s safety in the jail system.