Lincoln shoplifter tried to stab staff with needle

Supermarket staff who chased a shoplifter were left in shock after the man pulled out a hypodermic syringe and threatened to stab them, Lincoln Crown Court was told today (Mon).

Heroin addict Carl Forsen was pursued by two members of staff after walking out of the Tesco store on High Street, Lincoln at 7 am without paying for a bottle of red wine.

Alan Gibson and Brendan Ollier followed Forsen into an alleyway alongside the Wildwood restaurant but were left stunned by Forsen’s reaction.

Phil Howes, prosecuting, said “The defendant produced a hypodermic syringe and removed the cap.

“Mr Gibson and Mr Ollier backed off but Forsen followed them making stabbing motions with the syringe.

“The defendant then threw the wine bottle at Mr Gibson. It hit him on the leg and smashed.”

Forsen was arrested the following day after he was seen in the High Street.

Mr Gibson, in a statement read to the court, said “It turned very frightening very quickly. One minute I was asking him for the wine back and the next the man produced a needle. I was worried that w wouldn’t get out without the man stabbing us.

“Not only did he then threaten me and Brendan but he also chased after us. It seemed he was hell bent on hurting us.”

The court was told that Forsen had 25 previous convictions for a total of 57 offences.

Forsen, 41, of no fixed address, admitted charges of possession of an article with a blade or point, theft of a bottle of wine and assaulting Mr Gibson by beating. He was jailed for 14 months.

Leanne Summers, in mitigation, said that Forsen had been homeless since being released from a 17 month jail sentence imposed at Grimsby Crown Court in March 2015 for robbery.

Miss Summers said “He began using drugs from the age of 10 and for many years has suffered from anxiety and depression.

“After his 17 month jail sentence he was released homeless. He went to the YMCA in Grimsby but there was no room for him there and he has remained homeless until his arrest for these offences.

“Because he was homeless he began using drugs more frequently. He was essentially using drugs to cope.

“He stole the bottle of wine to fund his drug use. He had the needle with him as he is a heroin user.”