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Man drove into Tesco worker after £300 shoplifting spree

PUBLISHED: 06:30 23 January 2020 | UPDATED: 11:33 23 January 2020

Sign at Tesco store in Great Yarmouth. PIC: Nick Butcher.

Sign at Tesco store in Great Yarmouth. PIC: Nick Butcher.

A man drove at a supermarket worker in a car park after walking out of a store with more than £300-worth of goods, a court has heard.

Keith Ashton, 58, had been to the Tesco store in Pasteur Road, Great Yarmouth when left the supermarket with a trolley full of goods, worth £335, without paying.

Norwich Crown Court heard Ashton, who had walked out with a trolley-load the week before, was followed by staff who questioned him.

Duncan O'Donnell, prosecuting, said the defendant took the car keys out of the trolley before getting in his car.

He said a supermarket worker was "hit by his car" in the car park of the Yarmouth store before Ashton was seen driving off at speed.

The court heard the worker was not injured as a result of the incident, which happened on April 20 last year.

Ashton, of Grenville Place, Yarmouth, admitted dangerous driving on April 20 as well as theft and battery on the same date.

He also admitted theft from the same supermarket on April 13.

Danielle O'Donovan, mitigating, said when he was in his 40s the defendant was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder.

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She said he made full admissions to the offences and told her in his own words that "I done him a wrong" when talking about the store worker.

Miss O'Donovan said he also said that the Tesco worker "didn't deserve it" which she insisted showed a level of insight into his behaviour.

She said: "He knows he shouldn't have behaved like that."

Miss O'Donovan said it was a sentence which could be suspended.

She said Ashton had accommodation and 24/7 support for his mental health difficulties and was even being offered the chance to be taught how to become a plumber.

Sentencing Ashton on Wednesday (January 22) Judge Stephen Holt said that even though there was no victim impact statement, the offence must nevertheless have had a serious effect on the worker he drove at.

He said the courts saw very much worse cases of dangerous driving but felt it had crossed the custody threshold.

Ashton was sentenced to a total of eight months in imprisonment suspended for two years.

He was also banned from driving for two years and must take an extended retest.

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