A man jailed for his part in a burka-clad armed raid at a jewellers shop is a convicted drug dealer from Lanarkshire.

Dean King, 28, was sentenced to nine years and two months for being part of a gang who robbed Walker the Jeweller in Dundee.

And Lanarkshire Live can reveal that King was sentenced to six months last year after being caught with £5000 worth of cocaine at his home in Mallard Crescent, East Kilbride.

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He was in custody on remand for the robbery when sentenced for the drugs.

This week King and co-accused Anthony Wheeldon, 40, and Connor Willis, 24, – both from Manchester – were sentenced at the High Court in Edinburgh to a total of 32 years in prison.

They had previously admitted carrying out the robbery on September 23, 2019 while acting with others.

The three were part of a gang who targeted the store, two of whom were wearing full length burka-style robes and face coverings.

Lord Beckett was shown footage of King entering the store and then immediately bending down to tie his shoe laces in a ploy to prevent the security door from closing, while accomplices burst in.

Advocate depute Ashley Edwards QC told the High Court in Edinburgh that a stolen Ford Kuga drew up in the street and the raiders emerged from the vehicle after King had gained entry.

The prosecutor added: “Two males wearing robes and face veils, which witnesses described as being ‘like a burka’, came out of the vehicle followed by a third male wearing dark clothing and a balaclava.”

“They were carrying an axe, a hammer, a mallet and a bag. As they entered the store the men shouted and swore and brandished the weapons at the members of staff,” she said.

One customer, Gordon Morris, lifted a stool above his head and began swinging it towards the intruders but was hit on the head with the mallet.

He fell backwards and struck his head on a wall and his attacker stood over him brandishing the weapon.

The robbers began smashing display cabinets but a member of staff activated an anti-robbery device which filled the premises with a thick fog.

They managed to get away with two Rolex watches worth £17,850 and caused about £3800 worth of damage.

Mr Morris had a cut to his head closed with paper stitches following the assault on him.

Following the robbery police recovered a rucksack, which was thought to have been dropped by the gang and found a DNA match for Willis.

The Ford Kuga used in the robbery was traced to South Victoria Dock Road, in Dundee, and a vape bottle that was found provided a DNA link to Wheeldon. A holdall containing clothing was also discovered which provided a DNA match to King.

Fingerprints from Willis were found on the rear registration plate and King was identified from CCTV footage at the scene of the robbery.

The Ford Kuga was found to have been driven north from the Lancashire area on September 22 and was seen in the early hours of the following morning in East Kilbride, in South Lanarkshire.

King was arrested in Lanarkshire in October 2019 and told police that “four boys” with English accents had turned up at his door. He claimed they had mallets and an axe and told him he was coming with them.

He said: “I did ask for a mask but obviously the boys said ‘you’re going to be holding this door’.”

The court also heard that Willis was part of a gang which staged another, earlier violent robbery that year at Miena Jewellery in Edinburgh when the owner bravely fought back despite being struck with an axe.

Willis also pled guilty to taking part in that raid on Miena Jewellery in Edinburgh’s Great Junction Street on August 31.

The judge told the trio that the offences “involved ferocious and frightening violence which followed sophisticated planning”.

Sentencing the three, Lord Beckett said: “For such serious, sophisticated and violent crimes severe sentences are called for in order to protect the public from you, to punish you and to seek to deter you and others from such crimes.”

Wheeldon was jailed for 11 years and Willis for 12 years. They will also be under supervision for a further four years and five years respectively.

All three were given driving bans as vehicles were involved in the commission of the crimes.

King was disqualified for seven years and four months, Wheeldon for 11 years and Willis for nine years and two months.

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