Thief pulled knife on shop staff

PUBLISHED: 16:01 05 October 2006 | UPDATED: 10:57 06 May 2010

A SHOPLIFTER who drew a knife and threatened assistants who chased him has been jailed for a year. Daniel Breckenridge, 21, was said to want to change his criminal lifestyle now that he is an expectant father. But Judge Geoffrey Breen said the incident mu

A SHOPLIFTER who drew a knife and threatened assistants who chased him has been jailed for a year.

Daniel Breckenridge, 21, was said to want to change his criminal lifestyle now that he is an expectant father.

But Judge Geoffrey Breen said the incident must have been terrifying and custody was the only option.

Breckenridge, of Archer Road, Stevenage, pleaded guilty to theft, possession of a knife and common assault.

Charles Judge, prosecuting at Luton Crown Court on Friday, said Breckenridge went to JD Sports in Stevenage town centre as they were opening for business last March 31. He selected a number of items and took them to the cash desk, but after the 'purchases' had been de-tagged he grabbed them and made for the door.

"Members of staff went after him and he then produced the knife and made threats towards them," said Mr Judge, adding that a female assistant was pushed as he made his escape.

Breckenridge was arrested a month later and admitted he had gone out deliberately to steal and took the knife with him to facilitate his escape, but said he would not have used it.

Lawrence Selby, defending, said: "His record is appalling and he is no stranger to custody but it does not seem to be rehabilitating him. But the thought of becoming a father has had a sobering effect on him and he realises if he carries on like he has in the past his child will not know him. He says he has woken up."

Judge Breen told Breckenridge: "What you did was planned and premeditated and it is difficult to imagine a more serious offence of stealing from a shop. The lady confronted with that knife must have been terrified.


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