Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Bungling armed robber accidentally shot accomplice

An armed robber accidentally shot his accomplice in the leg after bursting into a man's home in Edinburgh, a court has heard.

Keith Smith, 30, and 25-year-old Peter McMurray tried to force their way into Ekundayo Badamas' flat in Leith last August.

A struggle broke out in which McMurray struck Mr Badamas with a large knife.

Smith fired a warning shot with a rifle - but he hit McMurray in the leg, the High Court in Edinburgh was told.

Mc Murray and Smith, who are cousins with 13 previous convictions between them, admitted trying to rob Mr Badamas at the flat in Cables Wynd at about 23:00 on 26 August.

Safety catch

Mr Badamas managed to force the robbers out of his home, despite being wounded by McMurray's knife which had an 11ins (280mm) blade.

Smith put the gun in a holdall but forgot to use the safety catch, and as the pair fled down a staircase the rifle went off again, leaving a bullet embedded in a fire door, the court was told.

Advocate Depute, Keith O'Mahony said CCTV footage showed Smith running into a pub, where he phoned for a taxi, saying he needed to go to Accident and Emergency.

Police, meanwhile, found McMurray lying on the pavement about 30 metres away, with a significant injury to his lower leg.

He told the officers he had been shot by someone in a white car.

McMurray, who appeared in court on crutches, was taken to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary where he has undergone several operations to remove bullet fragments and had pins inserted in his tibia.

When Smith was arrested by armed police officers a few days later he told them: "I knew you guys would be coming for me. I wasn't surprised to see the polis with guns."

Trigger pressure

Mr O'Mahony said the firearm was a German Walther .22 self-loading rifle which was found to require an unusually light amount of trigger pressure to discharge it.

He said 50-year-old Mr Badamas required 14 stitches to the left side of his forehead and will be left with permanent scarring.

Deferring sentence until 7 December, the judge Lord Beckett told the pair: "I consider this very grave criminality.

"You armed yourselves with a rifle and a very large knife and attempted to commit a robbery in the course of which the complainer was injured and will have permanent disfigurement."

Lawyers for Smith and McMurray said they would deliver their mitigation speeches at the sentencing hearing.

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