Sheffield Crown Court heard on April 12 how Robert McGregor, aged 40, of Ochre Dike Walk, Wingfield, Rotherham, was at Cortonwood Shopping Park, Barnsley, with two other males with two large bags full of loot as they were approached by staff from a Morrisons supermarket who retrieved the bags.
However, Neil Coxon, prosecuting, said as a sales assistant was walking away with the bags she suddenly saw McGregor and fell to the ground as he grabbed the bags but as McGregor was pinned to the ground by a member of the public he also squeezed this man’s testicles.
Mr Coxon added that once McGregor was detained he was found to have wire cutters and the three bags contained goods from Marks and Spencer, TK Maxx and Smyth’s toy store.
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Judge David Dixon told McGregor: “You were working as a team with two bags of loot. Individuals from another store took those bags from you and they were passed from you to another female member of staff.
“It’s more likely you grabbed both of the bags and there was then a violent tussle with you trying to pull the bags from the lady and in the context of that scuffle she fell to the floor.”
Judge Dixon also noted that as a man subsequently detained McGregor on the ground with his knee in his chest the defendant threatened him before grabbing his genitals.
The court heard McGregor has 58 previous convictions including 139 for offences including dishonesty, fraud and shop theft as well as five matters of violence.
Following the incident on November 2, 2021, McGregor admitted the shoplifting matters, going equipped to commit a crime, robbery – committed during the retrieval of the bags - and committing an assault.
Richard Barradell, defending, said McGregor is angry with himself because he had set out to go shoplifting and he was not intending to commit robbery.
Mr Barradell added McGregor had a job but he was laid off during the Covid-19 pandemic and he fell back into using heroin and shoplifting but he is now clean of drugs.
Judge Dixon sentenced McGregor to 44 months of custody.