Tayside and Central Scotland

Man jailed for 'horrific' attacks on vulnerable victims

Dundee Sheriff Court
Image caption Whyte said he was ashamed of his actions in a letter submitted to Dundee Sheriff Court

A man who carried out two "horrific" attacks on vulnerable victims has been jailed for four years and nine months.

Paul Whyte assaulted Robert Phin after his girlfriend Hollie Rodger distracted him by asking him for a lighter.

Whyte held Mr Phin in a headlock as he rifled through his pockets and stole about £140.

Dundee Sheriff Court was told that three weeks later, in the same spot on Dundee's Provost Road, he attacked Iain Minto and stole £300.

Depute fiscal Eilidh Robertson told the court: "CCTV was reviewed and on this occasion the accused and Miss Rodger were seen running away shortly after.

"Independent witnesses to the second robbery had seen him loitering in the area."

Whyte, 31, a prisoner at HMP Perth, admitted two charges of assault and robbery committed on 13 August and 3 September last year.

'Horrific offences'

In a letter to the court, Whyte said he was "ashamed" and asked for "help to become a normal member of society" when he is released from prison.

His lawyer, Anne Duffy, added: "He understands that a lengthy custodial sentence is the only option.

"These were horrific offences.

"I've been trying to get to the root of his offending and it goes back to his upbringing."

Sheriff Alastair Brown imposed a six years and seven months extended sentence, with four years and nine months in custody and one year and 10 months on licence.

He said: "You selected victims who were vulnerable and assaulted and robbed them.

"You did significant psychological damage to at least one of them - probably to both.

"Your criminal record is atrocious."

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