An armed robber who forced a taxi driver to hold up a bank with a bag of ‘bombs’ has been jailed for six years and nine months.
Gym instructor Andrew Patrick sparked terror when he ordered cabbie Alistair Rankin to go into a Kirkcaldy bank and steal cash.
Patrick, who pretended to be Polish, told Mr Rankin to hand over a note to staff at the Bank of Scotland in Carberry Road telling them they had minutes to fill the bag and that devices would go off if police were called.
The robbery on November 11 last year sparked terror as a team of armed police and an army bomb unit descended on the scene.
Patrick, 40, was sentenced today at the High Court in Glasgow after pleading guilty in March to abduction, assault and robbery.
He had called for a taxi to take him from Lochgelly to the bank in Mitchelston Industrial Estate.
When Mr Rankin, 46, arrived he was handed the bag which he was told contained an explosive device, later found to be fake.
Detective Sergeant Graeme Dursley, of Kirkcaldy CID said: “This was a terrifying ordeal for the taxi driver and members of staff at the bank, especially given the threat of an alleged explosive device, who must be commended for their bravery throughout the ordeal last November.
“I want to praise the taxi driver and the bank staff for their courage and their assistance during our investigation.
“The business premises around the bank deserve our thanks too for providing us with vital CCTV footage, as well as the wider community of Kirkcaldy for their continued support of this investigation.
“Officers responded quickly to ensure the safety of local residents, utilising EOD (explosive ordnance disposal) resources to ensure there was no threat posed by the device.
“It is also a testament to the extensive inquiries carried out by the investigation team to identify Patrick as the assailant that he will now spend a significant period of time in jail.”
Police were quick on the scene and Patrick fled empty-handed before Mr Rankin left the bank with almost £10,000.
The devices in the bank were found to be little more than tubes, cotton wool and a mobile phone circuit board.
Following a high profile media appeal Patrick was traced on December 3 and arrested and charged.
He was working as an instructor at the Fitness Factory gym in Kirkcaldy and had cooked up the scheme to alleviate “some financial difficulties”.