Worker hurt in toy shop theft

Arrow Models  090334b
Arrow Models 090334b

A MAN assaulted a shop worker while trying to steal a toy helicopter, Scarborough Magistrates’ Court heard.

Andrew Johns, 27, of Victoria Road, narrowly avoided an immediate jail sentence after magistrates heard details of the offences, which took place in Arrow Models in Newborough.

Katy Varlow, prosecuting, said: “The complainant was in her place of work when the defendant entered. He had a look around and asked a few questions.

“She saw him go round the corner and try to leave quickly. She stood next to the door and he approached her. She noticed a box under his jumper.”

Johns then removed the remote-controlled helicopter, worth £34.99, before pushing the woman in her shoulders with both hands causing her to fall into a chair.

As Johns tried to flee the store he opened the door which hit the woman, causing her to stumble back. A customer, who had witnessed to incident, gave chase. Johns did not escape with the helicopter.

Mrs Varlow added: “The complainant had pain and discomfort to her back and has taken painkillers.”

Although Johns pleaded guilty to the offences of assault and attempted theft, he initially claimed not to have pushed the woman and that the door had hit her by mistake.

However, on the day of a Newton hearing, to establish the facts of the case, he accepted the prosecution version of events.

In mitigation, the court heard that Johns was remorseful for his actions and that since the offences he had given up drugs.

He is also seeking counselling to help him cope with traumatic events which took place during his childhood.

The chairman of the bench, wing commander Donald Graham, said: “We have dealt with the attempted theft as the most serious offence due to your previous record, which is not impressive.

“For the attempted theft, we will impose a jail sentence of six weeks which will be suspended for 12 months.”

Johns was given a further two weeks for the attempted theft and an additional week for failing to answer bail, although the periods will run concurrently to the longer sentence.

He will also undergo supervision from the probation service and complete a thinking skills course. Compensation of £50 will be paid to the victim of the assault and Johns will also pay a £250 contribution to costs.