Glasgow & West Scotland

Robber jailed after karate struggle at Irvine shop

A would-be robber who was foiled by the karate skills of an Ayrshire store manager has been jailed.

Liam Meighan, 22, asked at the till for Buckfast and cigarettes, then said: "I'm sorry to do this but I'm going to take it because I've got a gun."

But the manager of the store, black belt Robert Chalmers, appeared and pinned Meighan to the floor.

Meighan was jailed for 32 months after admitting assault and attempted robbery at Premier Stores in Irvine in June.

Prosecutor Iain Gray told an earlier hearing at Kilmarnock Sheriff Court that Meighan had made the demand of a female shop assistant.

He added: "Unfortunately for the accused, Mr Chalmers is a 4th Dan black belt in martial arts.

"He subdued the attacker in the belief he was in possession of a firearm and he was struck to the ground until he let go of the object."

'Summary justice'

CCTV footage captured the incident, showing Meighan - who had been on a drinks and Valium binge - carrying a plastic bag containing a stick before being overpowered and floored by Mr Chalmers.

James Irvine, defending said: "It's clear that summary justice was meted out fairly quickly and there is no issue with that. Mr Chalmers dealt with the matter very quickly."

"It's clear from the evidence disclosed and from CCTV he was never truly armed, though that is somewhat by-the-by as the staff would not have known, he said."

Mr Irvine told Sheriff David Hall: "He realised he had no money, wanted the drink and did what your lordship saw on CCTV."

Sheriff Hall described the attack as "extremely serious" and said: "I saw the CCTV footage from your attempted robbery.

"It must have been terrifying to the staff, particularly the lady member of staff."

Meighan also admitted two breaches of bail curfew committed since the incident.

He was jailed for nearly three years. The court heard he had two pages of prior convictions.

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