Shoplifter punched security guard

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A THIEF threatened to punch a security guard who chased him after he stole lights from a store.

Robert Hughes, aged 40, of Queen Mary Court, Queen Mary Road, Sheffield, strolled out of Dobbies Garden World in Barlborough, Chesterfield, without paying for two aqua beam marine lights worth £458.

He was chased by shop assistant Robert Spray, and then security officer Ryan Lee, Chesterfield magistrates heard.

Helen Griffiths, prosecuting, said: “The defendant put the lights on the ground and continued trying to escape. He was asked to stop and he replied, ‘I’ve dropped the stock - leave me alone or I’ll bang you’.

“He then approached a van parked at the roadside and asked for a lift. When Mr Lee told the driver police were on the way he was refused a lift.

“Officers arrived shortly afterwards and he continued shouting abuse from the police vehicle.”

Jobless Hughes said he was hard-up and, when he saw the tile lights, he remembered a pal had offered him £200 if he could get any, so he took a chance. He admitted the November 3 theft.

The court heard he had previous convictions for dishonesty, had an 18-year heroin problem, and was on a methadone programme.

The bench gave him a one-year probation supervision order, with £85 costs, after hearing the stolen items were recovered intact.