Addict threatens Aldi shop staff with dirty needle, Sheffield court hears
A South Yorkshire addict who was "addled with drugs" when he threatened shop staff with a dirty needle on three separate occasions has been locked up.
Daniel Heaps tried to steal two bottles of gin from Aldi in Rotherham, on June 9, when he was challenged by a female member of staff.
Prosecutor Sue Evans described how a "tug of war" ensued when she tried to grab his bag and another member of staff stepped in to help, before he produced the needle.
"She discovered a needle mark on her arm, although it's not known how or when it occurred during the struggle," Ms Evans said.
Heaps returned the next day and was spotted stealing a bottle of gin.
The same woman challenged him, but again he said he had a needle and she backed away.
Forty minutes later he entered a branch of Macolls and put two jars of coffee in his bag. He was asked if he was going to pay for it by a female shop worker.
"I will stab you with a dirty needle," Heaps told her and fled.
He was arrested shortly afterwards, in possession of the needle and two rocks of crack cocaine.
The woman, who has three children under the age of 12, said: "I keep thinking about who would care for my boys if I contracted a disease. I have been worried about this ever since it happened."
Richard Adams, mitigating, said Heaps is 34-years-old “but looks considerably older” because he is “completely consumed by Class A drug addiction.”
"He wants to address his drug issues and rebuild bridges with his family."
Heaps, 34, of Clara Place, Rotherham, pleaded guilty to two counts of robbery, theft, and possession of crack cocaine, on June 9.
Recorder Adrian Langdale QC told him his appearance reflected "a life of drug-addled crime" and the offences was aggravated by his 36 previous convictions for more than 70 offences, including possession of a blade and battery. He was on a suspended sentence for shop theft at the time.
The judge jailed Heaps for 37 months.