Ex-soldier’s botched robbery at car wash

The car wash in Motherwell's Merry Street where Nathan Gordon robbed a  driver at knifepoint.
The car wash in Motherwell's Merry Street where Nathan Gordon robbed a driver at knifepoint.

A former soldier has been jailed for 18 months after robbing a motorist at an all night car wash in Motherwell.

Nathan Gordon was on early release after getting a two-year stretch for another knifepoint robbery at a shop in Holytown.

Locking him up again, a sheriff said it was “sad” to see someone at the age of just 20 with such a criminal record.

Gordon will be supervised for a year when he’s freed in a bid to keep him away from drugs and trouble.

He admitted committing the robbery at the car wash in Merry Street on November 25. Charges of threatening behaviour in nearby Highfield Crescent and spitting on a police officer’s face were dropped.

The carjacking happened at 2.30 in the morning. The frightened driver ran off when he saw the knife, but Gordon was unable to start the car and when police were alerted he was arrested nearby.

Defence agent Diarmid Bruce said Gordon had been taking cannabis at a friend’s house and couldn’t remember much about the incident.

The solicitor said the area around the car wash in Jerviston was a known trouble spot at night and “maybe not the best place” to stop at 2.30am to use the self-service facility.

Mr Bruce said Gordon had served in the army, but left because he was bullied. He now has a young child although his relationship with his girlfriend has been affected by his time behind bars.

Mr Bruce suggested a non-custodial sentence could be imposed, adding: “He has fragile mental health but his family are supportive. He is sorry for what he did and I think he is too young to be written off as a no-hoper.”

Passing sentence, Sheriff Shiona Waldron told Gordon: “I take account of everything that’s been said and also a letter you have written to the court.

“It’s a sad situation when a young man your age pleads guilty for the second time on indictment to assault and robbery with a knife.

“However, it’s the duty of the court to take account of everyone’s interests. To terrify someone in this way is completely unacceptable and the only response can be custody.”

The sheriff said she was prepared to impose a relatively lenient sentence. She told Gordon: “You will also be given a one-year supervised release order to try to take you away from the drug-taking and level of offending that has been going on.”