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Wednesday, 23 April 2014

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Armed siege man jailed for six years

An armed raider who boasted he was going to shut down a town before staging a three-hour shop siege has been jailed for six years.

Annan Spar raid photo
Peter Boyd is led away from the Spar shop

Peter Boyd went into the Spar shop in Annan armed with two knives after posting on Facebook he was going to carry out the raid.

He held up two female workers in the shop at Butts Street and sparked a major incident with a firearms unit and a police negotiator called to the scene on August 10.

A string of streets were closed off and a police helicopter circled for a while over the scene. Paramedics and firefighters were also part of a major emergency response, on standby in case the situation escalated.

At Glasgow High Court, judge Lord Turnbull told Boyd that, but for his early plea of guilty to a charge of abduction and robbery he would have jailed him to eight years.

He said: “You pleaded guilty to a most serious offence, one that is fortunately only seen rarely.

“The impact on the victims was significant and serious as was the disruption in the local area.”

Boyd posted a number of messages on Facebook about his plans.

One read: “Right, see you all later – am away to hold a shop hostage. I won’t be able to reply.

Another read: “Eight-inch knife with my name on. Get armed response now.”

But yesterday he claimed that he carried out the offence because he was upset as it was coming near to the anniversary of his mother’s death. He apologised to the Spar staff he held hostage.

Prosecutor Murdoch MacTaggart told the court: “He informed them that the reason why he was doing this was to protest against Catholics marching through a Protestant area of Belfast the previous night.”

Mr MacTaggart added: “He told them that if the police came in he would have to put a knife to one of their necks.”

While he was on the phone around 7.20pm, one of the shop workers bravely grabbed knives he had left on the floor and the women fled the store.

It was another hour before Boyd finally surrendered to officers.

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