Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Bank cashier admits helping thief in Edinburgh

Mazahir Abbas Sheikh Image copyright CIARAN DONNELLY
Image caption Mazahir Abbas Sheikh was a staff member at the Craigentinny Avenue branch

A Royal Bank of Scotland cashier has admitted handing over £8,000 in a raid he had secretly planned with the thief in Edinburgh.

Mazahir Abbas Sheikh, 38, was a staff member at the Craigentinny Avenue branch when he teamed up with Kerr Somerville, 33, to plot the robbery.

At an identity parade he also pointed out other men as resembling the thief.

Sheikh had denied conspiring with Somerville before changing his plea. The theft happened on 13 October 2014.

Somerville, who had only two previous convictions for road traffic offences, pled guilty in August last year to stealing the money, while acting with another man, and was sentenced to 10 months in prison.

'Pretty shocked'

Giving evidence at Sheikh's trial, Somerville said Sheikh approached him in the summer before the raid.

He said: "I was asked if I would take part in getting the money. I was actually pretty shocked when it was put to me. I was in need of money at the time.

"I didn't think that in this day and age you could walk into a bank and walk out with the money."

Somerville said he was told to come to the counter where Sheikh was serving and the money would be put under the shutter and no attention would be paid to him. He was also told not to come in on certain days because there were people working there who would recognise him.

Defence solicitor, Victoria Good, asked Somerville why he had robbed the bank.

"Because it sounded so easy," he said. "The opportunity was there and I took it". He denied threatening Sheikh or his family.

The jury heard of a large number of mobile phone calls, some voice and some text, between Somerville and Sheikh before and after the robbery.

Sheriff Alistair Noble deferred sentence on Sheikh until next month for reports. His bail was continued.

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites