Armed criminal grabbed child and used as human shield in Burger King after vile spit attack

A knife-wielding shoplifter who used a child as a human shield after spouting racial abuse at a supermarket security guard is behind bars for almost four years. Christopher Bushby’s crime spree also included running into a fast food restaurant with a knife, kicking and trying to spit at security officers, burgling a home and going out spending with a stolen card. Now he cannot remember his crime spree, his lawyer told Teesside Crown Court on Monday.

He ran amok after pretending to self-scan GBP10 worth of beer and GBP5 worth of crisps at Sainsbury’s in Middlesbrough. He threatened the security officer who stopped him, saying he would “have him” with clenched fists at about 4.30pm on January 4. He shouted racist remarks and foul-mouthed insults and tried to spit at the officer, said prosecutor Jolyon Perks.

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The staff had to let him leave when police did not come, but he lashed and kicked out as he was escorted out of the store.

In the car park he pulled a knife out of his pocket, wanting to fight the guards, the court heard on Monday. It escalated even further as he started “throwing bricks randomly”, damaging a window and a parked car.

‘Grabbed a small child and used him as a shield’

He beckoned security staff who followed him towards the bus station as they were concerned about public safety. Then he ran into Burger King with the five to six-inch knife in hand, but was chased out by their security.

“He grabbed a small child and briefly used him as a shield while still holding the knife,” added Mr Perks.

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Still he carried on spewing vile remarks referring to the Sainsbury’s guard’s colour and religion, while kicking out at him in public view. Bushby had sworn at the same officer and used similar racist language at the supermarket on December 14 last year.

Recognised on CCTV as local taxi driver

He was released by police after the fracas in the town centre, and five days later he burgled a home on Fernwood, Redcar. He sneaked into the insecure home while the homeowner was upstairs, and stole a handbag and purse containing a bank card, GBP20 cash, two phones and confidential documents.

He used the card as seven shops, spending GBP88 before it was declined.

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Bushby was recognised from CCTV as a local taxi driver and caught trying to sell a stolen phone at Cash Converters later the same day. The rest of the hot property was found at his home. Bushby, whose address was recorded in court as Durham Prison, admitted burglary, racially aggravated assault, racially aggravated threatening behaviour, assault, affray, criminal damage, theft and blade possession.

He had 133 offences on his record and stood to receive at least three years for the burglary alone as a “third striker”.

‘He’s never considered himself to be racist’

John Nixon, defending, said: “My client has a long-term drugs dependency problem which he’s battled with unsuccessfully through the years. “Earlier this year matters deteriorated very badly indeed. He found himself involved in crime.

“He’s quite candid when he says he had no recollection whatsoever of any of these offences being committed.”

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Mr Nixon said Bushby could not bear the racial offences: “He tells me he’s devastated by this, that he’s embarrassed, that he’s never considered himself to be racist ever before. “He’s disappointed to find himself in this position.” He said Bushby did not routinely carry blades, it was an “isolated incident” and he was going through “tough times” in prison lockdown.

Judge Jonathan Carroll told Bushby: “You are there by virtue of your own conduct. You can have very little complaint about that.” The judge said Bushby’s dragged an innocent child into his aggressive, threatening, violent and outrageous behaviour, waving a knife in public and using “foul and offensive racist language”.

He added: “Through all of this you were clearly intoxicated, whether through alcohol or drugs or both, I can’t say.”

Bushby was jailed for about three years and 11 months – 876 days for the burglary plus 18 months for the other offences.

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