Serial shoplifter intimidated employees at three Redcar stores

Michael Winner used his physical presence to intimidate staff and when that didn’t work, he threatened to beat them with the bottles of alcohol he had just “brazenly” stolen.

The 37-year-old, who has a long history of dishonesty and violence, was not averse to telling store employees exactly what he planned to do before indulging in food and alcohol.

Teesside Crown Court heard how Winner carried out six shopliftings in Redcar as part of a week-long criminal campaign and was given a court order for another series of shopliftings just days later.

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Paul Cleasby, prosecuting, said the defendant’s criminality took on a more serious dimension when he entered a shop on Linthorpe Road in Middlesbrough and threatened staff with a knife before stealing alcohol and e-cigarettes.

The Northern Echo:'Intimidating' career criminal Michael Winner jailed for robbery and series of shopliftings,

He said the serial shoplifter intimidated staff at Farm Foods, Morrisons and Tesco in Redcar before stealing bottles of spirits and jars of coffee on March 16.

He returned to Tesco three days later and stole alcohol again before continuing his killing spree on March 21 when he again targeted Morrisons and Farm Foods.

Dealing with the robbery, Mr Cleasby added: “He swung his knife, pointed the knife at the female worker and the male worker heard him say: ‘Open the till and give me all the money you have’.”

“The male worker pressed the panic button on his wrist before the defendant climbed onto the checkout area and past the glass partition.

“The workers fled to the storeroom and watched the accused for a few minutes through the store’s CCTV.”

The court heard how Winner was arrested a short time later following another incident and told officers he had no recollection of the incident.

The winner, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to robbery, possession of a bladed article, six counts of shoplifting and three counts of threatening behavior between March 16 and April 4 this year.

John Nixon, mitigating, stated that his client had a long-standing drug addiction which was behind his offending and that he was facing a long prison sentence.

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Judge Howard Crowson jailed the career criminal for a total of four years and six months for his recent offences.

“That was a campaign of constant theft that you ran from shops in Redcar. “Her powerful physique must have been intimidating,” he said.

“On April 4th you entered the small shop on Linthorpe Road and threatened the staff with a knife.

“All of these offenses could have been robbery based on intimidation, but I can only convict you of what you are accused of.” Serial shoplifter intimidated employees at three Redcar stores

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