Champagne thief jailed after threatening security guard with cough

Lee Joseph, 39, of no fixed address. PHOTO: Suffolk Police

Lee Joseph, 39, of no fixed address. PHOTO: Suffolk Police - Credit: Archant

A thief who attempted to avoid being detained by a security guard by threatening to cough on them has been jailed.

Suffolk Police were called to reports of a theft at a store in the Britten Centre, on London Road North, Lowestoft, at about 2.45pm on Sunday, March 29.

Lee Joseph, of no fixed address, threatened to breath and cough on the security guard when approached.

The 39-year-old was arrested on suspicion of common assault and suspicion of theft, before being taken to Great Yarmouth Police Investigation Centre for questioning.

He was later charged with theft of two bottles of champagne and theft of £40 of meat, as well as common assault.

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Joseph was remanded in custody before appearing at Norwich Magistrates’ Court on Monday, March 30, where he was handed a prison sentence of 18 weeks for multiple previous thefts between December 2019 and March, as well as for the charge of common assault.

Magistrates ordered Joseph to pay a victim surcharge of £122.

Joanne Turner, 35, of William Kett Close, Norwich, was jailed for 12 weeks earlier this month after coughing in a police officer’s face, while Jonathan Steele, of Redlingfield Road in Eye, has been chared with causing harassment, alarm or distress used threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour or disorderly behaviour after allegedly coughing on fellow shoppers while wearing a face mask.

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