Shoplifter who assaulted retail worker avoids jail

Selkirk Sheriff CourtSelkirk Sheriff Court
Selkirk Sheriff Court
​A shoplifter who assaulted a retail worker has been ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work at Selkirk Sheriff Court.​

Forty one year old hotel worker Gordon Ward of Forest Avenue, pleaded guilty to stealing a bottle of wine and a packet of batteries from Tesco in Galashiels, on May 29.

He was confronted by the store's security officer who had observed Ward putting a bottle of wine in his jumper and attempting to leave the premises.

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Prosecutor India McLean said he was taken to the security office and police were contacted with Ward handing over a bottle of wine and batteries that he tried to steal.

But she added he then started to become aggressive towards the officer making threats to him and about his family and then picked up a chair and brandished it towards him.

Ms Mclean said the officer managed to get the chair away from Ward who was then restrained on the ground. During the struggle Ward punched the officer in the face.

Defence lawyer Liam Alexander said his client had consumed alcohol and mixed it with valium prior to the incident.

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He added:"He has had long standing issues with alcohol and drugs."

Sheriff Sinclair said it was the type of offence that the court abhors with people being assaulted during the course of their employment.

A 12 month Community Pay Back Order with 150 hours of unpaid work was imposed as an alternative to custody.