Suspected thief lashed out at Morrisons store staff and stamped on crisp packets

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A SUSPECTED shoplifter lashing out at store staff as they tried to execute a citizen’s arrest on him, a court heard.

Workers at the Morrisons supermarket in Ocean Road, South Shields, believed Steven Wastell was about to carry out a theft after seeing him in the meat aisle of the store twice in a matter of hours on Saturday, February 7.

He began to lash out, knocked drinks off shelves and stamped on some packets of crisps.

Keith Laidlaw, prosecuting

When the shop manager approached him and told him of his suspicions, Wastell became aggressive and swore at him.

As staff tried to detain Wastell, he kicked out, knocking drinks off shelves and stamping on packets of crisps.

The 33-year-old, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court to a charge of using threatening, abusive or insulting words.

He in the custody dock as he is currently serving a 28-week jail sentence for two offences of assault and a shop theft.

Keith Laidlaw, prosecuting, said: “A shop worker was told by a customer that a male had put meat in a Sports Direct bag.

“He left the store but returned about two hours later, still with the Sports Direct bag.

“The shop manager approached him and said ‘come with me. I’m arresting you for stealing some meat this morning.

“Wastell became aggressive and said he didn’t do anything.

“He began to lash out, knocked drinks off shelves and stamped on some packets of crisps. Police were called, and he was arrested.”

Wastell told police that he had left the store earlier in the day as he had received an urgent phone call and had returned later to finish off his shopping.

District Judge Helen Cousins fined Wastell £50 but deemed that amount to have been paid due to his time in custody.

She also ordered him to pay £15.85 compensation for the goods damaged in the store.

Twitter: @shieldsgazchris