Belfast Telegraph

Man jailed for punching shop worker who tried to stop him stealing buns

Samuel James Robinson was jailed for eight months.
Samuel James Robinson was jailed for eight months.

By Alan Erwin

A man who punched a shop worker trying to stop him stealing buns has been jailed for eight months.

Samuel James Robinson lashed out at the member of staff after being spotted taking up to £30 worth of pastries from a Spar in south Belfast on Wednesday.

The 33-year-old, of no fixed abode, admitted theft and common assault as he appeared today before the city's Magistrates Court.

Prosecutors said he entered the store on Botanic Avenue with two other men and caused damage to some of the food on display. 

As Robinson left the shop with other items a male employee approached him.

"This staff member was punched to the face by the defendant," a Crown lawyer said.

During police interviews following his arrest Robinson stated that he could not remember the incident because he had taken drugs.

However, he was shown CCTV footage and accepted it was him on the recordings.

Defence solicitor Pearse MacDermott argued that his client had been "messing about" with food in the store.

"The shop worker tries to grab hold of him and he lashed out, it wasn't premeditated," he said.

Mr MacDermott confirmed Robinson uses heroin and Xanax, and was under the influence of drugs at the time.

Imposing four months imprisonment for the theft and assault, District Judge Fiona Bagnall ordered the defendant to serve a further four months behind bars after activating a previously suspended sentence for an earlier stealing incident.

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