A 19-year-old girl was grabbed by two women on Edinburgh’s Princes Street before being robbed and threatened to have her throat cut if she did not take them to an ATM and withdraw money.
The terrifying ordeal was laid bare at Edinburgh Sheriff Court today.
Laura Cheyne, a 37-year-old prisoner in Edinburgh, and 30-year old Chris McPherson, a prisoner in Cornton Vale, pled guilty to assaulting the teenager on 21 January this year.
Sheriff Robert Fife told the pair it had been a terrible assault in the early hours of the morning on the principal street of Edinburgh.
Cheyne was sentenced to 25 months’ jail for the attack on top of 159 days of an unexpired previous sentence. McPherson was sentenced to 31 months, as well as 248 days of her unexpired sentence.
Fiscal depute Aidan Higgins told Sheriff Fife the girl had left a night club about 5am and gone to McDonald’s on Princes Street with some friends.
She was then making her way to get a bus home when the attack happened.
The teen had stopped to take her shoes off as her feet were sore and was looking down to see where she was placing her feet. She had almost reached the bus stop when she became aware of two people.
Mr Higgins said the couple asked her if she had any cigarettes.
She did not have any and was then asked if she wanted to buy some perfume for £5.
The teen said no, but one of the accused then began searching through her pockets and got her purse. The girl managed to get her purse back and started to walk away.
Mr Higgins said she looked back and saw the couple looking at something and she realised her mobile phone was missing.
“She returned and said ‘can I please have my phone back?’,” Mr Higgins said. She offered them £30 in cash for the phone’s return. She gave them a £20 and £10 note in exchange for the device.
The court heard the girl reached her bus stop, but the two followed and grabbed her.
Mr Higgins said: “They told her they were going to take her to an ATM for her to withdraw money and threatened to slit her throat if she did not go with them.”
McPherson was holding a knife at the girl’s throat and a passer-by saw the girl was very upset and screaming. He shouted to McPherson “leave her alone, you’re on camera”.
The teen managed to get free and ran to a bus, which was stopped at traffic lights.
The driver had seen the two accused with the girl and let her on the bus. The two attackers ran off, but the police were alerted and CCTV cameras traced the pair to Thistle Street North West Lane. When they were arrested, McPerson said he had not had a knife, that it was his glove. A knife was found three metres away.
McPherson was searched while in custody and £20 and £10 notes were found in her underwear.
Cheyne’s defence solicitor David Allan said his client had a record and it was directly linked to abuse of heroin and crack cocaine. She had two children, who were in care. He admitted there was an unexpired sentence for a previous offence, but asked Sheriff Fife to consider calling for a drug treatment and testing report.
For McPherson, solicitor Callum Turner said his client also had an unexpired sentence and had difficulties with alcohol since 13 years of age and heroin and crack cocaine from the age of 22.
McPherson, he told the sheriff, regarded herself as a male, but had not as yet undergone any treatment.
Join our Facebook group Our Edinburgh to share images and news from and around the Capital
Know someone that makes a difference in our community? Nominate them for a Local Hero Award HERE