A MACHETE-wielding thug robbed terrified staff in a travel agency in a lunchtime raid in East Renfrewshire.

Aidan King, 24, admitted robbing Barrhead Travel in Newton Mearns of £21,595.31 in foreign currency.

The High Court in Glasgow heard that King made off with the cash in a getaway car – a Vauxhall Astra - he had bought just days earlier for £450 on Facebook Marketplace.

King, of Barrhead, entered the branch in Ayr Road around 1pm on January 17 with his face masked and carrying a large black machete and shouted at the staff: “Just give me what you've got.”

One staff member Nicola Shaw stood up from her desk and pleaded with King saying: “I've got young children.”

King told her: “Give me everything you've got. I'm not going to hurt you.”

Prosecutor Derick Nelson said: “There were two customers and four staff working inside the premises.

“The accused entered wearing a white hooded top with the hood up, yellow gloves and a white face mask.

“He was holding a large black machete.”

As he fled the premises with a bag full of US dollars, Euros and sterling King told staff: “Don't phone the police. Wait five minutes.”

When police arrived on the scene the staff were very upset.

CCTV footage showed the Astra driving towards the travel agency minutes before the robbery. Police were able to get the registration number.

Mr Nelson said: “Police attended at the home of the registered keeper and discovered he had sold it on Gumtree.

“It was then sold on and eventually bought on January 15 by the accused who said he was Aidan from Barrhead. He paid £450 for it and drove it away.”

The court heard that King in the days after the robbery tried to change Euros and US dollars into pounds.

On February 5 police went to King's home and during a search recovered a white envelope containing four types of currency, a black machete.

King, who appeared in court via a video link from prison, has five previous convictions for crimes of violence and robbery.

Judge Lord Matthews told King: “I am calling for a risk assessment. You present somewhat of a risk to the public.”

He deferred sentence on King until September.

Defence counsel Charlie Ferguson will give his plea in mitigation then.