October 25, 2017 3.06 pm This story is over 50 months old

‘Get out of my way. I’ll stab you’: Shoplifter jailed after threatening Co-op staff with needle

He has been locked up.

A prolific shoplifter threatened staff with a hypodermic needle when he was caught stealing bottles of alcohol from a supermarket, Lincoln Crown Court heard.

Paul Ryan was stopped as he attempted to walk out of the Co-operative store on Seacroft Road, Mablethorpe, with bottles of vodka and whisky hidden down his clothing.

Leanne Summers, prosecuting, said that Ryan found his exit blocked by staff member Alexander Deberry.

Ryan then threatened Mr Deberry saying: “Get out of my way. I’ll stab you. I’ve got a knife.”

Miss Summers said: “The defendant reached into his pocket and produced what appeared to be a needle. Mr Deberry grabbed hold of his arms to stop him using the needle.”

Another staff member assisted Mr Deberry but eventually Ryan broke free and fled from the store.

Miss Summers said: “Two members of staff tried to run after the defendant but he got on a bike and rode off.”

Ryan was arrested later after being identified by store staff.

The court was told that Ryan had 98 previous convictions for a total of 187 offences including more than 50 offences of theft from shops.

Ryan, 41, of no fixed address, admitted theft of two bottles of whisky and two bottles of vodka as a result of the incident on April 24 this year.

He also admitted possession of a bladed article, namely a syringe and a needle, on the same date.

He was jailed for a total of 58 weeks.

Ian Way, in mitigation, said that Ryan had been addicted to heroin since he was a teenager but after being remanded in custody as a result of his latest arrest he had started to sort out his life.

Mr Way said: “He has been in custody for the best part of six months. During that period he has made very positive steps to address a very long term drug addiction.

“He has been blighted for years and years by drugs.

“He is very keen now to start to get control of his life.”

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