Prolific thief jailed for threatening security guard with broken bottle (From The Advertiser Series)
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Prolific thief jailed for threatening security guard at Durham store with broken bottle
A PROLIFIC thief threatened a store security guard with the jagged end of a broken bottle when cornered after stealing a bottle of wine.
Paul Lewis McGill, 34, was spotted leaving Tesco, in the Market Place, Durham, having paid for four cans of cider, but with the £4.99 bottle of wine concealed within his clothing, at 8.30pm on Saturday May 25.
Challenged by a security officer at the store door, McGill claimed he “mistakenly” forgot to pay, but when told police would be called, he prised himself from the guard’s grasp and fled.
Durham Crown Court heard that he ran up a nearby alleyway, but the quick-thinking guard realised which direction he was making and headed him off in the staff car park at the rear of the store.
Graeme Gaston, prosecuting, said McGill picked up a broken bottle and pointed the jagged end in the guard’s direction, making several threats to stab him.
The guard backed off, but when police arrived, the officers spotted McGill climbing a wall behind the car park and arrested him after he was threatened with a taser stun gun.
Mr Gaston said when questioned, McGill claimed he waved a can at the guard, but now admits it was a broken bottle.
As the offence put him in breach of conditions of his licence, following his release midway through a four year prison term for burglary, he was re-arrested to serve the remainder of the sentence.
While in custody he was arrested for burglary at the Masonic Hall in Chester-le-Street, in which a suit case containing free masonry regalia was stolen, a week prior to the Tesco incident.
The case was discarded nearby when he realised what it contained.
Mr Gaston said McGill was recognised entering the hall when town centre cctv was subsequently examined.
Thirty-four-year-old McGill, formerly of Palm Terrace, Craghead, near Stanley, admitted burglary, theft of the wine, and having an offensive weapon, the broken bottle, in public.
He also asked for offences of theft at a college building and a leisure centre to be taken into consideration.
Stephen Duffield, mitigating, conceded his client has a “bad record” and would not be released for the previously unserved part of his licence until April, 2015.
Jailing him for a further 15 months, Recorder Jonathan Bennett said some of McGill's offending was “opportunistic”, but the bottle threats were potentially putting someone “in the front line”, serving the public, at risk.