Poundbakery raider threatened Good Samaritan helping staff


Shoplifter Stephen Roberts threatened a member of the public who came to assist staff at a bakery where he was caught stealing.

The 32-year-old had been challenged as he walked out of the Poundbakery, in Newcastle, with an armful of food.

Magistrates at North Staffordshire Justice Centre heard a worker from a nearby shop then came to help.

Prosecutor Emma Thompson said: “The defendant was seen in the store, rummaging through items. The store manager saw him with about £20 of goods in his arms. He walked out without paying.

“Staff challenged him and called the police. A gentleman who works nearby saw staff challenge the defendant and heard him shout, ‘**** off’.

“He saw the defendant try to get behind the counter. This witness went to assist. He said he saw the defendant trying to get the phone from a staff member who was calling the police.



The incident happened at Poundbakery in Castle Walk

“The witness tried to get the defendant off. He was abused and threatened by the defendant, who said, ‘I will ******* get someone to sort you, mate’.”

Police arrived and arrested Roberts, of Fletcher Bank, Newcastle, following a struggle. The items were recovered but could no longer be sold.

When Roberts was searched, officers found four bags of cocaine on him. He pleaded guilty to charges of theft, possession of cocaine and using abusive or threatening words or behaviour to cause harassment, alarm or distress.



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The court heard Roberts has no previous convictions and was a ‘functioning heroin addict’.

Kate Preston, mitigating, said: “He has struggled with a heroin addiction for many years. He has been able to hold down a job and he is not someone who commits crime to fund his addiction.

“This is a one-off incident. He had a difficult week – his flat had been burgled, he had been assaulted and he had lost his employment. He had taken diazepam as a one-off.


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“He went to the Poundbakery. He had money on him, but he picked up items and wandered around in a daze then left the shop. A rather large gentleman from a nearby shop came to intervene and perhaps was a little heavy-handed with him.

“He is now receiving assistance for his addiction and this incident is unlikely to be repeated.”

Magistrates fined Roberts £240 and ordered him to pay £20 compensation. He must also pay £219 in court costs and charges.

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