Shop staff tell of Taser raid ordeal

Police incident at The Original Factory Shop in Kelso in October
Police incident at The Original Factory Shop in Kelso in October

A pregnant shop worker was assaulted and her colleague was Tasered by a masked raider during a robbery, a court heard this week.

Jacqui Young,31, told a jury on Monday how she was assaulted after three masked men entered the Original Factory Shop in Bowmont Street, Kelso, in October last year.

The High Court in Edinburgh heard that Mrs Young was 14 weeks pregnant when one of the trio started attacking her. She told the court that she kicked the man in the groin before she was dragged through the shop into the office containing the store’s safe.

Store manager Alexandra McMurray,35, told the court that moments earlier, she had been struck by a Taser by an individual whose face was covered. She said: “I played dead.”

The court heard that after the incident, the men left the shop with a sum of cash.

Prosecutors allege that the sum taken was £7,300.

Mrs Young, whose child was born in April 2016, had to be taken to hospital for a check-up on her child.

The two women were giving evidence on the first day of proceedings against Steven Modeste, 39, James Irvine, 54, and Anthony Kimber, 43.

The men, all serving sentences at Edinburgh Prison, deny robbing the shop, assaulting the two women and other offences.

On Monday, Mrs Young told the court that she and Ms McMurray were attacked shortly after 9am on October 5 last year.

The pair were in the process of opening for business when three masked men came into the shop.

She told prosecution lawyer Keith Stewart that one of the individuals attacked her. Mrs Young said she felt a “sharp pain” on her upper arm and heard a “zapping” sound.

Mrs Young told Mr Stewart that she kicked the man in the groin. However, the court heard that the individual did not stop assaulting her.

She added: “We were on the floor struggling. He kept on coming at me. I was too busy struggling to get him off.”

Mrs Young said that during the incident, she heard that one of the men had a Scottish accent and another had an English accent.

She told the court that one of the men was struggling to get the safe opened.

She added: “He was struggling to get the safe opened. He shouted me in to do it. He had the key backwards.”

The court heard that the safe was eventually opened. The robbers then got away with four days of takings, the proceeds of a charity collection and staff incentive money.

Mrs Young also told the court that she then pressed the panic button and phoned the police, and they arrived minutes later

She went to Borders General Hospital in Melrose by ambulance and had a scan on her unborn child. Mrs Young said she suffered bruising during the incident.

Ms McMurray said she was Tasered during the incident.

She told Mr Stewart: “I could see electricity between two prongs.”

She said that she played dead after being tasered.

She added: “I heard Jacqui Young say ‘get off’.

“I saw three sets of feet. Jacqui was in the middle. She was getting frogmarched.”

The court heard that a customer who came into the store was placed beside her by one of the masked men.

Ms McMurray added: “He said he wasn’t going to hurt her. He said he wasn’t going to Taser or electrocute her.

“I raised my head, and he Tasered me for a second time.

“It was at the back of my knee. It was a quick prod.”

Ms McMurray said she also suffered bruising.

Mr Modeste, Mr Irvine and Mr Kimber have entered not guilty pleas to a total of eight charges.

Prosecutors allege that on October 4 and October 5 2015, at locations in Kelso, Mr Irvine breached section 47 of the 1988 Road Traffic Act by using a car without a test certificate.

Prosecutors also claim that on October 5 2015, at the Original Factory Shop the three men were masked and assaulted Mrs Young and Ms McMurray.

It is alleged that they presented a stun gun at Ms McMurray’s neck and discharged it at her body before pushing her into a glass cabinet before discharging the weapon again on her leg.

Prosecutors also claim that they pushed Mrs Young on the body and caused her to fall on the ground before discharging a stun gun at her arm and body.

The crown claims the three men robbed them of £7,300 in cash.

The third charge alleges that at the same location on October 5, they assaulted a woman called Rhona Hastie and threatened to use the stun gun on her.

It also claimed they robbed her of her handbag and purse.

The fourth charge alleges that the men breached firearms laws by having a stun gun in their possession.

The fifth charge alleges that at an address in Galashiels, Mr Modeste and Mr Irvine refused to co-operate with the police and attempted to pervert the course of justice.

The sixth charge alleges that at various locations in the Borders, Mr Modeste concealed diazepam tablets internally in his body in an attempt to pervert the course of justice.

The seventh charge alleges that on October 7 and October 8 2015, at Borders General Hospital Mr Modeste committed a breach of the peace.

The eighth charge alleges that between October 6 2015 and October 9 2015, Mr Modeste had the controlled drug diazepam in his possession with the intention to supply it to others.

The trial continues.