Violent thief armed with corkscrew threatened shop security guard & hurled …

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A BRAVE member of the public was praised for tackling a violent thief from North Lincolnshire who was armed with a corkscrew.

Stuart Nixon was awarded 150 from public funds by Recorder Richard Wright QC and congratulated for his “public spirited act” when he intervened and disarmed Tye Hunter.

Hunter, 31, of Hawkins Way, South Killingholme, had threatened a Sainsbury’s security guard with the corkscrew and hurled racist abuse at him after trying to steal two crates of Stella lager from the Welholme Road store in Grimsby.

Marie Harbin, prosecuting, told Grimsby Crown Court that Hunter had been seen running from the store with the lager on January 14.

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A security guard gave chase but Hunter reached into his pocket and pulled out a corkscrew.

“He walked towards the guard while clenching his fist,” she said.

“The complainant challenged the defendant and further threats were made towards him. The defendant then chased the complainant back towards Sainsbury’s while waving the corkscrew.”

Hunter tried to get away with the lager but was challenged by a member of the public, Mr Nixon.

“The defendant made threats towards him using the corkscrew. He was detained on the floor,” said Miss Harbin.

“He continued to make threats while on the floor.

“He struggled violently making various threats to the complainant such as ‘I’m going to destroy your life’ and ‘I will make you disappear’.”

She said Hunter told police he had been hit by the guard and denied using any racial language.

He denied having the corkscrew and demanded it be tested for his DNA, she added.

The court heard Hunter had an “appalling record” including 30 convictions for 85 offences.

The prosecution offered no evidence on the charge of possessing a weapon but Hunter admitted affray and theft.

Ghaff Khan, mitigating, said: “My strongest point is that there were timely guilty pleas.

“Although there’s a substantial record, the theft was an unsophisticated enterprise of stealing lager.

“Thankfully the weapon was not used to cause any injury.”

He continued: “His history is littered with quite a few offences.

The underlying issues are that he had in the past abused illicit substances and he has had a problem with alcohol and has been deemed alcohol dependent.”

He told the Recorder: “What he would say to you is that his inexcusable behaviour was because he was heavily intoxicated and had he not been he would have behaved differently.”

Mr Khan said Hunter had shown he is capable of staying out of trouble having not offended since December 2011.

He said the breakdown of his relationship “led him back to the bottle”.

Recorder Wright said the guard was subjected to “foul mouthed racial abuse whilst doing his job”.

“It was only when a very brave and public spirited person came along that you were outnumbered and detained,” he told Hunter.

He handed down a 22-month prison sentence but suspended it for a year, and ordered Hunter to undertake alcohol treatment.

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