Page last updated at 14:16 GMT, Thursday, 31 July 2008 15:16 UK

Betting shop robber lost 20,000

Nanden Zhelyazkov
Zhelyazkov had lost 20,000 loaned to him by his parents

A losing punter has admitted carrying out an armed robbery at a betting shop after gambling away 20,000.

Nayden Zhelyazkov, 27, had been given the money by his parents to set up a business. But after losing it he targeted Ladbrokes in Glenrothes, Fife.

Zhelyazkov was watched by police the day after the raid as he laid a number of bets totalling 1,000.

At the High Court in Edinburgh, Lord Turnbull deferred sentence for background reports.

Black bin liner

Zhelyazkov, of Church Street, Glenrothes, had waited in a toilet at the shop until after closing time before emerging wearing "a rudimentary mask" made out of a black bin liner. He was carrying what seemed to be a gun.

Despite the attempt to disguise himself, staff thought they knew his identity because of his accent and build because he was a regular customer.

The Bulgarian national escaped with about 6,000 following the raid on the shop in Postgate on 20 April.

In court, he admitted robbing staff by presenting an imitation firearm at them.

Advocate depute Derek Ogg QC said as staff began taking cash from tills and machines the robber came out of the gents toilet.

Mr Ogg said: "He pointed what was thought to be some type of firearm at the staff and said 'Don't move I've got a gun'.'"

The prosecutor said one of the staff thought it was a toy cowboy gun but could not be sure.

He said the raider was aggressive and vaulted a counter and continued to point the weapon at his victims.

He began to collect cash and put it in a carrier bag. The haul included 10 notes used as traceable "bandit notes" with their serial numbers recorded in case of a robbery.

Zhelyazkov was detained later the next day after police watched his movements. He immediately said: "Is this about Ladbrokes?" but later denied involvement in the robbery.

Police found almost 3,000 hidden at his home and among the cash was the "bandit notes" from the bookmakers.

The judge, Lord Turnbull, deferred sentence for background reports and remanded him in custody.

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