A VICIOUS thug who tried to rob a delivery driver in Johnstone has a history of violence, it has been revealed.

Brian Murdoch attempted to steal Martin New’s car after making a bogus call for a pizza and arming himself with a baton.

When Mr New refused to hand over the keys to his Volkswagen Golf, Murdoch smashed the windows, leaving a three-year-old child who was inside at the time cut by flying glass.

READ MORE: Armed robber subjected Johnstone delivery driver to terrifying ordeal

The botched robbery took place in Cochranemill Road in April – seven years after Murdoch, who was just 16 at the time, was caged for shooting a man in the neck with an air rifle.

And he was only able to commit his latest crime after being released early from a jail term imposed in 2017 for pinching a £50,000 car while wearing a stolen police uniform and pretending to be a CID officer.

Last week, Murdoch was handed a three-year prison sentence for the robbery bid and assault on Mr New.

Paisley Sheriff Court heard how a toddler, who can’t be named for legal reasons, was left injured as Murdoch used a baton to smash the windows of Mr New’s car.

The bungling crook gave police a helping hand to snare him after the frightening incident.

Officers had no idea who was behind the botched robbery and appealed for help in tracking down the culprit.

However, there was a breakthrough when Murdoch called the police from the same phone he had used to order the pizza, to report “threats and intimidation” towards him because he had stolen a gangster’s car.

Officers discovered it was the same number and Murdoch was detained. 

Last month, he admitted a charge of assault and attempted robbery after prosecutors deleted claims he was also armed with a stun gun when he attacked Mr New.

Murdoch also admitted a charge of culpable and reckless conduct that left the young girl injured. 

Sheriff James Spy had called for background reports ahead of sentencing. 

When Murdoch returned to the dock last week to learn his fate, defence solicitor Paul Lynch said he had spent his formative years in care, foster homes or behind bars.

Sheriff Spy pointed out that Murdoch had been released 448 days early from his previous jail term and had spent the equivalent of 252 days on remand over this latest case, leaving a balance of 196 days.

He returned Murdoch to custody to serve the remaining 196 days of that sentence and jailed him for three years, reduced from four years, for the incident in Cochranemill Road. That three-year period will begin when the 196 days expire.

Murdoch has also been made the subject of a year-long Supervised Release Order that will see him monitored in the community when he is freed from prison.

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