Thief attacked and robbed man '˜after sharing Buckfast and taxi'

A THIEF battered and robbed a man after they shared bottles of tonic wine and a taxi home, a court heard.

The pair shared a taxi after drinking Buckfast together before the attack. Picture: Donald MacLeod
The pair shared a taxi after drinking Buckfast together before the attack. Picture: Donald MacLeod

Robert Donaghy pummelled James Higgins on the head with his fists and took his wallet before demanding the PIN number for his bank card.

He was caught after police watched CCTV of him using his victim’s card to withdraw cash from a machine in the Mill Centre in Blackburn, West Lothian.

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Donaghy, 27, from Glasgow was jailed for 18 months yesterday for what a sheriff described as “a very unpleasant and serious offence”.

The serial offender, who has previously been jailed for robbery pled guilty yesterday to an assaulting and robbing Mr Higgins and stealing GBP450 from his bank account.

Jailing him at Livingston Sheriff Court, Sheriff Martin Edington told him: “No injury may have been occasioned by you but the complainer had every right to be very frightened.

“You have an appalling record with numerous analogous offences and there is also an unexpired portion.”

He said only a custodial sentence was in the public interest given Donaghy’s background.

Kirsty Anderson, prosecuting, said Donaghy and his victim had met at Buchanan Street bus station in Glasgow after both missed an early morning bus home.

They drank Buckfast together then agreed to share a taxi back to Blackburn, West Lothian, where they had more drink in a house in Ash Grove.

She said: “Mr Higgins was sitting on the sofa in the living room when he felt punches rain down on him.

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“He noticed his wallet was missing and demands were made of him to provide his PIN number for his bank card. In fear for his safety he provided the pin number and managed to escape the property.”

She said Mr Higgins eventually got assistance after walking to a supermarket five miles away in Livingston, West Lothian.

Garvey McArdle, defending, told the court Donaghy expected to be jailed for the crime.

He said: “He recognises his record is unenviable and he’ll require to spend some time in custody to atone for this offence.”