Sy­ringe threat on se­cu­rity man

Halifax Courier - - This Week In Court - By court re­porter

A per­sis­tent shoplifter who threat­ened to stab a su­per­mar­ket se­cu­rity of­fi­cer with a “dirty nee­dle” has been jailed for a year. Michael Far­rer, 27, was banned from go­ing into the Tesco store on Mar­ket Street, Hal­i­fax, un­der the bail con­di­tions im­posed fol­low­ing the theft of ba­con from an­other shop a few days be­fore.

But ear­lier this month Far­rer was spot­ted in the su­per­mar­ket by a mem­ber of staff and es­corted to a back of­fice by a male se­cu­rity of­fi­cer.

Pros­e­cu­tor Giles Grant told Brad­ford Crown Court that the se­cu­rity of­fi­cer had dealt with Far­rer on pre­vi­ous oc­ca­sions with­out any trou­ble, but as he tele­phoned the po­lice the de­fen­dant pulled the sy­ringe from his pocket, took the safety cap off and pointed it at him.

Far­rer told the of­fi­cer:”If you don’t let me go I’m go­ing to stab you with a dirty nee­dle.”

Mr Grant said the de­fen­dant was an arm’s length away from the of­fi­cer who feared that he would use the sy­ringe as a weapon.

Far­rer was es­corted from the store fol­low­ing his threat, but he was jailed for nine months af­ter he ad­mit­ted pos­sess­ing an ar­ti­cle with a blade or point in a public place.

The de­fen­dant, who has served pri­son sen­tences in the past for shoplift­ing and of­fences of vi­o­lence, also ad­mit­ted the theft of the £30 ba­con from an­other store in March and was sen­tenced to a con­sec­u­tive term of three months in pri­son.

His bar­ris­ter An­drew Stranex told the court that Far­rer was mo­ti­vated by panic and fear when he re­alised that he was go­ing to be ar­rested again.

Mr Stranex said his client was clean and had snapped off the tip of the sy­ringe af­ter us­ing it so he could not have caused any se­ri­ous harm to the of­fi­cer.

“But he ac­cepts that the se­ri­ous­ness is what the com­plainant would have thought and felt at the time,” con­ceded Mr Stranex.

Mr Stranex said Far­rer, of Gor­don Street, Booth­town, Hal­i­fax, had a deep-rooted prob­lem with drug abuse and he had ex­pressed gen­uine re­morse for the in­ci­dent.

Jail­ing Far­rer, Judge Peter Ben­son said he had a truly dread­ful record for shoplift­ing and vi­o­lence and he noted that the theft of the ba­con must have taken place soon af­ter Far­rer had been re­leased from a pre­vi­ous eight-week jail term for shoplift­ing.

The judge said the threat had been made with a fear­some weapon bear­ing in mind the con­se­quences which might have oc­curred if the of­fi­cer had been stabbed with a dirty nee­dle.

The judge added that peo­ple such as the of­fi­cer de­served pro­tec­tion and it was a se­ri­ous of­fence which had to re­sult in a pri­son sen­tence.

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