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JAILED: Addict thief threatened to give Sainsbury’s security guards AIDS

By John Scott | Compton | Crime | Published:

A man who bit and threatened to give supermarket security staff AIDS by stabbing them with a hypodermic needle has been jailed for two years.

The Sainsbury's Local in Compton Road where the incident happened

Prolific petty thief Philip Jones was trying to flee from a Sainsbury’s Local store in Wolverhampton with a bottle of Bold when violence flared, a judge heard.

The 29-year-old had put the detergent in his holdall while placing the rest of the shopping in a basket which he left behind after his bank card was declined through lack of funds on July 25, Mr Edward Soulsby, prosecuting, told Wolverhampton Crown Court.

Jones was stopped and searched as he tried to leave the shop in Compton Road, Compton, by two security officers – Joe Oliver and Vanessa Evans – who found the bottle of Bold.

The defendant – a long-time drug addict – reached into his pocket and pulled out a hypodermic needle before warning the pair: ‘I have got AIDS and will give it to both of you’.

Undeterred they took him to the floor where Jones bit Mr Oliver, who also received a series of pin point scratches during the struggle, continued Mr Soulsby.

The defendant, who was arrested at the scene, is thought to suffer from Hepatitis C which left the guards facing an anxious wait to discover if they had been infected.

Ms Evans said in a statement read to the court: "This has left me feeling extremely angry. I was doing my job and now have to worry that I might have contracted an illness."

There was no evidence that either guard had been infected as a result of the clash.

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Jones, who had 35 separate previous convictions for shoplifting and has appeared in court for petty theft since 2008, knew he had failed to answer his bail in relation to another matter just days before the incident.

Mr Jon Roe, defending, maintained: "He panicked when confronted by the security staff. He knew he would inevitably be locked up and could not face the ordeal of withdrawal from drugs while in custody. He turned a needle used for his drugs into a weapon.

"His problem is a long-lasting addiction. He started using drugs at the age of 13 and has been hooked on Class A drugs since 16. Injecting has caused permanent damage to the artery and nerves of his legs."

Jones, from St Anne's Road, Fordhouses, admitted threatening people with a bladed article, theft and assault and was sent to prison by Judge Michael Challinor who told him: "You have been stealing from shops for a long time but significantly raised your offending on this occasion.

"Many people steal from shops and many do so to feed an addiction but those that use weapons to threaten security staff will get no sympathy from the courts."

John Scott

By John Scott
Reporter/News Feature Writer

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