Homeless Lincoln shoplifter threatens staff with syringe

A homeless shoplifter who threatened staff at a supermarket in Lincoln with a syringe has been jailed for more than two years.

Lee Ross, 46, was given his last chance to avoid jail in July last year after he admitted burgling a Gainsborough social club.

Ross was sentenced to a 22 month suspended prison term and placed on a drug rehabilitation order after he broke into Melrose Sports & Social Club and also attempted to burgle the Trent Port pub.

But Lincoln Crown Court heard Ross returned to crime in the Autumn of last year with a string of shoplifting offences.

Mark Watson, prosecuting, said this offending culminated on November 16 when he was confronted by a member of staff while stealing alcohol at Morrisons supermarket in Lincoln.

Mr Watson said a member of staff saw Ross in an area where the public were not allowed and heard clinking bottles coming from the bag he was carrying.

“Mr Ross was challenged but he ignored this and walked through a fire exit into an enclosed yard which was locked,” Mr Watson told the court.

“He was holding a syringe and shouting, ‘I’m getting out of here, unlock the gate.’

“Not surprisingly, the member of staff backed off and Ross climbed over the wall with the alcohol.”

Ross was linked to the incident by CCTV and two other shoplifting offences at the Co-op in Sincil Street, Lincoln, in September where he stole bottles of gin.

A third incident took place at the same Co-op on October 10 when Ross made threats to a security guard who stopped him stealing another bottle of gin.

Ross told the security guard ‘I will nut you,’ and had his fists clenched.

Michael Cranmer-Brown, mitigating, said Ross had been making genuine efforts to rid himself of drugs but was struggling with living rough on the streets.

Ross, formerly of Whites Wood Lane, Gainsborough, but now of no fixed address, admitted breaching a suspended prison sentence passed on July 23.

He also pleaded guilty to three charges of theft, one charge of common assault and one charge of threatening behaviour between September 28 and November 16 last year.

Passing sentence Judge Simon Hirst told Ross he did not believe he would comply with any community order.

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