Serial criminal John Coyle jailed over knifepoint robbery


A serial robber who held up a teenage shop worker at knifepoint has been jailed for six years.

John Coyle, 44, was caught because of a distinctive grey streak in his hair, the High Court in Glasgow heard.

Coyle held up an 18-year-old shop assistant at a Scotmid store in Glasgow's Easterhouse last October.

He was ordered to be monitored in the community for eight years after his release because of his high risk of re-offending.

The court heard how he walked into the store and asked for a packet of cigarettes. The assistant gave them to him and asked if he wanted anything else.

At this point he pulled out a large, black-handled knife and thrust it towards her stomach and shouted: "Open the till."

But he fled empty handed when the terrified 18-year-old woman screamed and shouted for her mother, who was also an employee there.

'Shame and disgust'

The incident was captured on the shop's CCTV.

The court heard Coyle had a "very distinctive" grey streak on his hair which could be seen on the footage.

Police later held Coyle, of Cranhill, for the raid after he was recognised by officers who viewed CCTV footage.

It emerged he had already served a number of lengthy jail terms for similar crimes and had been released on licence 11 months earlier.

He had been freed early at the time, having been jailed for almost eight years in 2009 for robbery.

Lord Burns ruled that Coyle will have to serve the unexpired four-year portion of his previous sentence before starting his new sentence.

Defence counsel Geoffrey Forbes said: "He feels shame and disgust at his conduct and would like to apologise to the shop assistant."

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