South Shields shoplifter who headbutted store worker is given last chance to stay out of custody

Newcastle Crown Court.
Newcastle Crown Court.

A shoplifter who headbutted a store worker who tried to stop him stealing alcohol has been given a chance to turn his life around.

Jack Bushell was spotted trying to leave the Lidl store at Boldon Lane, in South Shields, on March 1 without paying for a bottle of Amaretto he was carrying.

The 20-year-old thug lashed out when he was approached by store staff who told him the police had been called.

Prosecutor Rachel Masters told the court: "During the course of the struggle he headbutted a member of staff.

"He headbutted him to the nose."

Newcastle Crown Court heard no injury was caused to the staff member.

He also kicked out at a police officer who arrived at the scene and struck his head but again caused no injury.

Bushell, of Sloane Gardens, Whiteleas, South Shields, admitted common assault, assaulting a police officer and theft.

He also admitted a charge of criminal damage after he scratched his name "JACK B" in a cell a South Shields police station.

John Wilkinson, defending, said Bushell has a supportive family and the chance of good employment through a trainee programme he has enrolled on.

Mr Wilkinson said Bushell has accepted help to change his behaviour and is determined to succeed.

Mr Recorder Paul Isaacs said he initially thought there was "no option but immediate custody" in Bushell's case.

But the judge agreed to defer sentence for six months to give Bushell a change to prove he can change.

He said: "This is a young man with a difficult past who may be going to make something of himself."

The judge warned Bushell he must complete his course, look for work and stay out of trouble during the next six months.