Jail for thief who spat at store boss

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- Credit: Archant

A SERIAL thief has been jailed after spitting in the face of a ‘scared’ supermarket manager when she tried to stop him stealing wine.

Drug addict Leigh Pickles stole 15 bottles of wine over seven weeks from the Morrisons Local store in Portishead – a shop he had been banned from because of stealing.

On December 30, assistant manager Becky Carlon approached Pickles and another man outside after hearing the clinking of glass, and asked if anything had been stolen.

During a police interview, she said: “At that point he brought up phlegm and spat at me. It hit my in the face and on the collar.

“I swore and then Mr Pickles threatened to hit me. I said I was not scared, although I was.”


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Mark Lineham, defending, said Pickles was sorry for what happened.

He said: “He (Pickles) knows he caused a great deal of disruption and upset… This is a man who if he carries on, will not reach 50.

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“He was someone in the community consuming alcohol at a terrific rate and drugs at a horrific rate and was going in one direction.”

Mr Lineham said Pickles is in contact with Addaction because he wants to recover from years of ‘drugs misuse’.

In total, Pickles stole 15 bottles of wine and a tin of biscuits from Morrisons between December 11 and January 28 during seven raids.

Pickles, of Phoenix Way in Portishead, was jailed for 12 weeks by magistrates at North Somerset Courthouse on February 19, for the one charge of assault by beating, after spitting at Ms Carlon.

He was handed a six-week jail sentence for the first theft to serve consecutively, after the assault imprisonment. The other six theft charges merited the same prison sentence, although will run concurrently.

Pickles admitted all seven charges and must pay compensation of £100 to Ms Carlon and £86 to Morrisons.

The 36-year-old must also not visit the store, or contact Ms Carlon, for 12 months.

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