Arm-bite thief ‘like an animal’

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A SHOPLIFTER who bit a South Yorkshire supermarket worker when he was caught red-handed has been jailed for two years.

Terry Michael Baxter was said to have fought “ferociously” to get away when staff tried to detain after he took items from the Somerfield store, Doncaster Crown Court was told.

The store supervisor who came to the aid of a security guard to detain the 24-year-old is still awaiting the results of blood tests to establish whether or not he has contracted Aids from being bitten.

The judge said Baxter, of Elm Grove, Munsborough, Rotherham, was “like an animal”. He pleaded guilty to charges of theft and two assaults in July of last year.

Beverley Tait, prosecuting, said both the security officer and the supervisor saw Baxter stealing items and they went outside to apprehend him.

He tried to run away and a struggle ensued as they tried to bring him back inside.

“The defendant was fighting ferociously and would not come back and shouted to let him go. He said they were assaulting him and tried to run away,” said Ms Tait.

The guard sustained a nasty leg injury and his colleague was bitten on the arm, which caused him to have blood tests which affected his personal life, she added.

The court heard Baxter had previous convictions for dishonesty and six for violent offence.

Defence counsel James Horne said Baxter knew that custody was the only option for the court “and he can’t cry about it. He has got a full realisation of what he has done and is remorseful.”

Mr Horne said the offences were committed against a background of the defendant’s heroin addiction from 2009.

Although he had come to the drug late in life it was a fairly debilitating habit.

Judge Peter Kelson QC sentenced Baxter to 12 months consecutive for each assault and three months concurrent for the theft. He said Baxter was an habitual shoplifter but staff working in shops deserved the protection of the courts.

“They do not go to work expecting to be bitten and injured in this way,” the judge said.

“You fought ferociously to escape arrest having been caught red-handed. You fought like an animal.”