A man currently serving a three-year-sentence for conspiracy to rob a Chester bookmaker has admitted attacking another man over an alleged drugs debt.
Luke Laidlaw, 24, was one of two men jailed for plotting to rob the manager of a bookmakers as he returned from the NatWest bank in Hoole with an envelope full of cash.
Laidlaw, then of Orchard Way, Garden City in Deeside, was said to have intercepted his victim after he left the bank, hit him around the head and engaged in a 'tussle' to wrench the envelope from his grasp.
The envelope ripped open and Laidlaw, who went on to plead guilty to conspiracy to rob along with the other man, ran off with £3,000.
Laidlaw was due to go on trial at Mold Crown Court on Monday December 1 after denying a charge of assault, occasioning actual bodily harm.
But the jury was sent home when the court was told that Laidlaw had not been produced and was in Park Prison in Cardiff.
He later appeared in court via a live television link when a new trial date was due to be fixed – but he changed his plea to guilty.
Judge Niclas Parry imposed a six month prison sentence but said rather exceptionally it would be concurrent with his existing prison sentence and would not extend his release date.
The aggravating features were obvious – a weapon had been used to cause injury and it was an attack at the victim’s own home.
He had now pleaded guilty and the judge said that he had to bear in mind the fact that he was currently serving a three year sentence for conspiracy to rob.
The question was whether he would have received an additional sentence if both matters had been dealt with together.
It was important that he was not on bail for the robbery at the time of the assault – the robbery occurred a short time afterwards.
Prosecuting barrister Paulinus Barnes told how in July of last year a man answered an early Sunday morning knock at the door of his home in Saltney Ferry.
A woman was there over an alleged £30 drugs debt and the defendant was with her.
He was said to have produced something sharp from his pocket and punched the victim to the face.
His face immediately bled and he needed hospital treatment.
Police and ambulance were called and he was taken to hospital where he was treated for a cut above the eyebrow.