Man who stole cider threatened shopkeeper with a knife

Crown Stores, Crown Road, Great Yarmouth. PIC: Archant

Crown Stores, Crown Road, Great Yarmouth. PIC: Archant - Credit: Archant

A brave shopkeeper chased after a man who stole alcohol from his store despite being threatened with a knife, a court has heard.

Jolyon McLauchlin, 32, went into the Crown Stores shop in Great Yarmouth and took four cans of cider before trying to leave.

Martin Ivory, prosecuting, said the shopkeeper tried to tackle the defendant and take the cans back.

But at this point McLauchlin “produced a knife” from his pocket and threatened him with it.

Mr Ivory said he waved it “at chest level” in an attempt to “frighten” the victim.

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Norwich Crown Court heard that the shopkeeper chased the defendant who “swung the knife a couple of times” towards the victim who then gave up.

The incident was witnessed by a member of the public who came to help before McLauchlin ran off.

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McLauchlin, of Bath Hill Terrace, Yarmouth, appeared via videolink for sentence, which was being held over Skype in the wake of the coronavirus lockdown, on Tuesday (April 7) having previously admitted having a bladed article and theft on March 1 this year.

Danielle O’Donovan, mitigating, said he admitted the offences which she recognised were serious. She said McLauchlin was on a community treatment order for his mental health and was under that order when he committed these offences.

Speaking via videolink ahead of him being sentenced, McLauchlin said he got told by “one of my voices this morning that life is very precious and I see that now”.

He told the court that he was “hitting it hard” when he was on alcohol which is why he had ended up in prison and conceded that if he did not stay off it he would end up serving more time in prison or “dead”.

Sentencing McLauchlin, Judge Andrew Shaw said that ordinarily “people who produce knives in public places, particularly in small shops, and use those knives to facilitate a theft can normally expect to be sent to prison”.

But Judge Shaw was “mindful” of the defendant’s mental health problems and sentenced him to a 24 month community order with residence at his mother’s address at Horstead with Stanninghall for 24 months, or any other address approved by his offender manager.

McLauchlin must also abide by a six month curfew, between 7pm and 7am.

Judge Shaw told the defendant “I don’t want you out drinking”.

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