A THIEF pushed a supermarket worker who stopped him stealing wine.
Former offshore worker Jeffrey Howe was spotted stealing alcohol from Tesco in Prince Edward Road, South Shields, for the third day in a row.
Newcastle Crown Court heard the 50-year-old did not cause any injury when he lashed out at the worker.
Judge John Evans told him: “Fortunately this did not result in any injury, otherwise you would be going to custody today.”
Howe, of Ethel Terrace, South Shields, admitted theft.
Judge Evans sentenced him to a community order for 18 months with 80 hours unpaid work.
Graeme Cook, defending, said Howe resorted to stealing in November last year when he lost his offshore work, but has since been offered new, similar employment.
Mr Cook said: “Fortunately it was nothing more than a push.”