Shoplifter is jailed for 10 weeks after stealing £2.60 baguette

SANDWICH thief Christopher Reynolds has been jailed for 10 weeks for assaults on three police officers and two security guards after stealing a baguette.

Reynolds, 44, of Crawford Close, visited Sainsbury’s in the town centre on February 5 and walked out with a sandwich worth £2.60, despite having the money to pay for it.

When confronted by security staff and a police officer in the store, Reynolds became aggressive, and was taken into custody after a 30-minute struggle.

Kate Prince, prosecuting at Swindon Magistrates Court, said: “All these incidents were over an item of food Mr Reynolds was trying to take. He was seen by Mr Nasir, who works as security staff at the store. Reynolds selected a sandwich and left after making no attempt to pay.”

The court heard how Mr Nasir approached Reynolds at which point he became aggressive. With help from another security guard, Mr Smith, and a shop assistant, Mr Saunders, Nasir managed to get Reynolds back inside the store. Reynolds struggled, pushing Smith in the chest and flinging coins at Saunders, before landing punches and kicks on Nasir.

“Reynolds was then confronted by PC Dickens, who had been in the store at the time. Reynolds was asked to put his hands down as he was in an aggressive stance. On being asked to do that he hit PC Dickens to the side of the face.

“Reynolds was detained for some time and was extremely aggressive. This was in an area with lots of members of the public.

“When taken to custody Sgt Mattis attempted to book him in, but Reynolds spat at her. The spittle landed on two officers, including custody officer Elliott, and Reynolds went on to kick PC Dickens on the leg.”

The court also heard how Reynolds lashed out at another police officer while in custody, kicking him in the groin.

Tony Nowogrodski, defending, said Reynolds suffered from agoraphobia and had acted in a very stupid manner.

“There are two sides to Mr Reynolds,” he said. “Reynolds was polite and respectful in interview, which is how he has been in all my dealings with him, and showed remorse and shame for what he has done.

“What happened here in many ways beggars belief. He had an argument with a friend in Asda. As a result he has come into town and had a bit to drink, and begun socialising with people in the town centre.

“He has gone into Sainsburys and selected a baguette. He had enough money to pay but simply walked out of the shop. This is where it all fell apart.

“Instead of going quietly with the security guards he asked if he could pay for the baguette, and decided he would sling some money on the floor. He struggled and was pinned on the floor.

“He did something incredibly stupid by becoming aggressive. He is only one man and there were many officers there. He acted in a very stupid way and the next thing he knew he was at the police station.

“He told me he has since gone around the shops apologising to people because he is ashamed of his behaviour. The difficulty here is there is this other side to him, which is very pleasant.”

Chairman of the Bench, Geoffrey Earl, sentencing, said: “When looking at this matter we have had to look at the totality of it.

“There are a considerable number of very serious offences in this, including assaults on a large number of people acting in the course of their jobs.

“We are sending you to prison for a period of 10 weeks. A sentence of 10 weeks for the assaults on police officers and PC Dickens, eight weeks for the assaults on the security guards, and two weeks for the theft itself.

“The sentences will run concurrently.

“There will be no financial penalty.”