Shoplifter banned from Asda stores nationwide after attacking worker when she was stopped trying to steal trolley full of goods

A Sunderland shoplifter has been banned from every Asda in the country for attacking a staff member at its South Tyneside superstore when she was being detained for theft.

Wednesday, 5th February 2020, 9:35 am

Vickie Gillespie, 36, of Kidsgrove Square, Downhill, Sunderland, pushed a man into shelving as he supported security staff dealing with her outburst at the exit of the firm’s Boldon Colliery outlet.

She also slapped him in the face and spat at him – and threw items at other staff trying to deal with her, South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court was told.

The court heard she flew off the handle after being stopped trying to leave with a trolley containing £257 of goods she had not paid for at around 10pm on Saturday, November 30, last year.

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ASDA Boldon Supercentre. Picture: Google Maps

Prosecutor Keith Laidlaw said: “A security guard says that he was at work and sees from the CCTV system that she is bagging up Nescafe coffee and other goods. She made no attempt to pay.”

Mr Laidlaw said the victim was also at the store, adding: “He walks towards the exit door and sees that Mrs Gillespie has been stopped at the door and that the trolley had been taken from Mrs Gillespie.

“She said she had paid for the goods but couldn’t find the receipt. What he sees is that she tried to pull the trolley from security and tried to leave the store.

“She tried to throw boxes of chocolate at staff.”

He added that she pushed the staff member into shelving, adding: “He tried to leave but she flew at him and slapped him across the face and spat at him.”

In a victim statement read to the court, the man said: “I find this disgusting. I was trying to protect the staff in Asda. I don’t think that I should have to put up with this.”

The court heard Gillespie also stole £193 of Good Girl-brand perfume from Debenhams in Sunderland on Wednesday, August 28, again being stopped on exit.

Mr Laidlaw added: “She says that she thought that she could pay for the goods in the car park. I don’t think that’s a common procedure in Debenhams.”

Mark Richardson, defending, said: “What is clear from the report is that she is a lady with considerable difficulties. She has a history of drug misuse and poor physical health.

“There were issues with money and benefits. She has been able to clear her debts. She really needs to learn the skills to learn in such situations.”

Mr Richardson added Gillespie, who pleaded guilty to two charges of theft and an assault by beating, realised her behaviour towards the victim was “absolutely unacceptable”.

Russell Hewitson, chairman of the bench, told her: “If you do attend any Asda store, you are in breach of this requirement and will be brought back to court.”

She was handed a 12-month community order with a requirement of 15 rehabilitation days with the Probation Service, and must pay £100 compensation, a £90 victim surcharge and £85 court costs.