Heroin addict assaulted pedestrians in robbery bids

A HEROIN addict assaulted two pedestrians in Edinburgh City Centre in the space of two hours, a court has heard.

Nicholas Wynne, 21, a prisoner in Saughton, told both men "This is a street robbery. I have a knife". One of the victims was taken to an automatic cash machine and withdrew 200 which he handed to his attacker.

Wynne had previously pleaded guilty to charges of assault with intent to rob and assault and robbery on 7 January this year. Sentence had been deferred for reports.

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Sitting in Edinburgh today, Sheriff Neil Mackinnon was told that on neither occasion did the men see a knife and neither was injured.

The first attack took place at 4.30 in the afternoon in Warrender Park Road.

Fiscal Depute, Victoria Greening, said Mr Jack Fraser, was approached by Wynne, who asked him for the time.

Mr Fraser produced his mobile phone to look and Wynne said: "One more thing" and pushed Mr Fraser into a hedge. Wynne then added: "This is a street robbery, hand me your phone. I have a knife".

He also told his victim he had just been released from prison. Mr Fraser, however, managed to walk away without handing over his phone and contacted the police.

The second attack took place an hour and a half later in Bristo Square. Wynne was walking in front of Mr Ben Drayton when he suddenly turned round and said: "This is a street robbery. I have a knife. Show me your phone".

Mr Henderson handed over his phone. Wynne then asked him what he had in his bank account, saying he had no money as he has just come out of prison. He then marched his victim to an ATM in the Square and took the 200. He, however, gave Mr Drayton his phone back.

Wynne was later identified by his victims from photographs and arrested. He made no reply to the assault on Mr Fraser, but in relation to Mr Drayton he said: "It wisnae me".

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Defence agent, Elaine Crawford, said Wynne had had a heroin problem for a number of years. adding: "Looking at the type of incident, the pattern and his convictions, it is not surprising that is his problem."

She asked Sheriff Mackinnon to consider calling for a Social Inquiry report with a view to perhaps imposing a Drug Treatment and Testing Order.

The Sheriff deferred sentence until 4 May for the report and remanded Wynne in custody.