Vodka thief jailed after making threats with needle outside Lincoln Tesco

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A thief who tried to stab a man with a hypodermic needle while being detained for shoplifting has today been jailed for two years at Lincoln Crown Court.

Daniel Elding was initially pursued by security staff after he was seen to walk out of the Tesco supermarket on Canwick Road, Lincoln, without paying for a bottle of vodka.

Outside the store Declan Marrows and a number of members of the public went to the assistance of staff and Elding was restrained on the ground.

Elding then managed to free himself and produced the hypodermic needle from his pocket shouting “Let me go or I’ll stab you.”

Phil Howes, prosecuting, told the court: “Mr Marrows placed his foot on the defendant’s hand. As he did this the defendant grabbed the bottom of his trousers and attempted to stab him in the leg.”

Staff then decided it was too dangerous to continue to try to restrain Elding and he was allowed to walk away having left the bottle of vodka on the ground.

Elding was arrested the following day.

The court was told he has convictions for 233 previous offences and has a history of attacking shop staff when detained for theft.

Elding, 31, of Westwick Drive, Lincoln, admitted a charge of making a threat with a bladed or pointed article as a result of the incident on February 18 this year.

Judge Michael Heath, passing sentence, told him: “You resort to violence when people legitimately seek to detain you when you have been shoplifting.

“There is only one sentence I can properly impose in this case and it is imprisonment.”

Mark Watson, in mitigation, said that Elding spent his childhood in institutions and is a product of the care system.

He said that Elding, who is a drug user, has spent most of his adult life in custody.

Mr Watson said that his client’s latest offence occurred as a result of his desperation to get away after being stopped.

“He doesn’t habitually carry weapons. On this occasion the needle was not used to cause any injury.”