A security guard was slashed to his arm and thigh and savagely bitten on the finger while trying to detain a shoplifter.
At the time of the incident, his attacker 26-year-old Aaron Smith, was engaged in a campaign of theft during which he twice threatened staff at other supermarkets with a hypodermic syringe.
Liverpool Crown Court heard that Smith, of Ford Lane, Litherland , attacked Mr Roberts at the Asda store in Strand Road, Bootle, on April 20 this year after he was spotted stealing alcohol.
Simon Duncan, prosecuting, said that Smith had lunged at Mr Roberts with the knife “and he felt pain in his arm and leg and did not realise the severity of his injuries until he saw left forearm open up and blood streaming from the wound.
“Mr Roberts said, “I attempted to protect myself and the defendant sank his teeth into my left index finger.
“The pain was terrible as he would not let go.
“Eventually I managed to pull my finger out with force. I could not believe it was happening and was totally shocked.”
The court heard Smith had stolen meat from Home and Bargain in Linacre Road, Bootle on January 18 and further thefts of meat from Aldi in Thornton on March 20 and Tesco in Bootle on April 17, having taken foil lined boxes with him to put the stolen meat in.
During the latter two incidents he produced a hypodermic syringe when confronted by store staff and threatened to stab them with it.
Smith, a Class A drug addict, pleaded guilty to wounding him with intent to resist apprehension.
He also admitted eight other offences involving thefts, affrays, going equipped to steal, possessing a craft knife and being in breach of a suspended sentence imposed in January for theft and burglary.
Sarah Holt, defending, said that his drug habit started in his teenage years and he became addicted to crack and heroin.
“His mother has been a drug addict for an incredibly long time and with her history and background it is perhaps little wonder he also ended up taking Class A drugs at a young age….He has taken steps to address his addiction in prison.
“He is determined that when he leaves he does not return to a life of drug addiction and offending.”
The court heard he has 20 convictions for 44 previous offences.
Judge Menary said he regarded the hypodermic syringe as “a highly dangerous weapon capable of causing actual or very real psychological harm because of the potential for the spread of infection.”
Jailing him for five years with an extended licence of three and a half years Judge Andrew Menary, QC, the Recorder of Liverpool, said, “You are a prolific and a determined thief going equipped to steal and found armed with real weapons or adapted implements designed to look like weapons.
“It was a campaign to steal and avoid detention by threatening or using harm. This is serious offending of its type.”
Judge Menary said how Smith did not want to be detained and put up a significant struggle and produced a craft knife which was wrapped with some tape.
He added: “It was used by you to inflict harm. You slashed him to his arm and right thigh.
“In the course of the incident you also bit his finger. It was part of a pattern by you threatening violence or using violence in order to determinedly avoid being detained.”
In an impact statement Mr Roberts said that the incident had left him wary and he had bought himself a stab vest to protect himself.
The dad-of- two daughters said he had never encountered such violence before and it had knocked his confidence.
He praised Asda for allowing him to be taken off front of store duties until he felt able to return to them.
The dad added: “At no time did he have any regard to my safety and he could have killed me if he had slashed me in the wrong area.”
Source – Liverpool Echo