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Friday, 25 April 2014

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Supermarket robber held two women hostage

A robber draped in a Union flag carried out a terrifying supermarket raid – after posting on Facebook that he was going to do it.

Annan Spar photo
A firearms unit was called to the shop

Peter Boyd, 27, held two women workers hostage at knifepoint at his local Spar store in Annan putting them through a near three-hour siege ordeal.

Boyd sparked a major incident with a firearms unit called to the shop in Annan, the High Court in Glasgow was told.

The court heard how Boyd put a number of messages on Facebook about his plans with one reading: “Right, see you all later – am away to hold a shop hostage. I won’t be able to reply. Eight-inch knife with my name on. Get armed response now.”

Boyd then wrote another message urging others to “watch the local news” while making comments about Irish Republicans and the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

In a final posting, he said: “See you all in a few months. Town is being shut down.

“Trust me when I say it.”

Boyd faces a lengthy jail-term after he pleaded guilty at the High Court in Glasgow to a charge of abduction and robbery.

Boyd – draped in a Union Jack and armed with two knives – targeted the Spar shop around 4.50pm on August 10 this year.

He ordered workers Carole Patterson, 32 and Casey Donaldson, 29, to close the shutters and lock the doors.

A customer was also ordered out – but Miss Patterson whispered to him to call the police before he left.

Police arrived before the area was cordoned off. A firearms team and police negotiator were also sent for.

Boyd – who lived near to the Spar shop – meantime ordered the women onto the floor.

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.”

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

Later that night, the police negotiator telephoned the shop to speak to Boyd. While he was on the call around 7.20pm, shop worker Miss Patterson bravely grabbed the knives he had left on the floor before she and Miss Donaldson fled the store.

It was another hour before Boyd finally surrendered.

The court heard how the two women were left “very frightened” after their ordeal.

Judge Lord Turnbull remanded Boyd in custody until the new year for reports.

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