A shoplifter who assaulted two members of staff when they tried to stop him had only been out of prison for a few days, a court has been told.
Daniel Elding lashed out at the two men who tried to detain him when he attempted to steal two bottles of whisky from Aldi in Boston last Monday – an offence which got him sent back to custody just a week after being released for a similar offence.
Boston Magistrates’ Court ignored pleas from the defence that custody may not be the answer, and decided that the serious nature of the offences and numerous previous convictions meant they had no choice but to sentence him to 16 weeks behind bars.
On Wednesday, Edward Johnson, prosecuting, said the 27-year-old got in a scuffle with shop manager Liam Atkin when he tried to detain him and call the police. Elding knocked the phone from him and the handset hit him on the forehead.
When a second member of staff went to help, Elding headbutted him, the prosecution said.
But Sacha Waxman, defending, said he did not intend to hurt either of the men, and both assaults occurred during a tussle as he tried to escape, adding that Elding had taken the whisky so he could sell it to buy food as there had been problems obtaining benefits since his release from prison.
She said: “He panicked. The assaults are not so significant that they pass the custody threshold. Custody is doing nothing but adding a cumulative element to restricting his liberty.”
Elding, of Kitwood Road, Boston, admitted theft and two counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm. He was sentenced to three 16 week sentences to run concurrently.