Knife-wielding thief stole because queue of three was too long
A SHOPLIFTER who decided to steal beer because the waiting queue of three people was too long then pulled a knife on the store’s manager, a court heard.
Adam Griffiths, aged 30, of Matthew Street in Swansea went to the CKs store on High Street on September 2 and picked up a pack of 12 bottles of lager worth £7.99.
He made his way to the till and saw three people waiting ahead of him.
He was then heard to say: “F*** this, I’m not paying for this, the queue is too long”.
Griffiths then went outside the shop, still carrying the beer and was followed by the manager, Gareth Jones.
He asked Griffiths: “Any chance of you paying for those beers?”
Griffiths then put his hand behind his back and pulled out a knife from the back of his trousers.
That knife, around 5in in length, was shown to the judge sitting at Swansea Crown Court.
Mr Jones said he was shocked and frightened by having the knife pulled on him.
Police were called and when they arrived they saw him holding the beer in his right arm and the knife.
They told Griffiths to drop the knife which he did before dropping the beer, smashing it, and running away.
He later told police he had found the knife on his way into town while near his girlfriend’s home in Hafod.
Griffiths told police he had drunk 20 cans of Strongbow in a short space of time that day and he couldn’t remember being in the store.
Griffiths has already been made subject to two community orders this year, including where he again stole beer before punching and racially abusing the shop manager.
The other was for theft where he broke into a van but was seen by the driver to be so drunk he fell over straight afterwards.
One of those orders included an alcohol treatment programme.
Ian Wright, for Griffiths, said his client was battling alcohol addiction and said his level of drinking had increased drastically after the breakdown of his long-term relationship.
Judge Paul Thomas told him: “People like you have got to realise that having a knife in a public place will be met almost invariably with a prison sentence. You must also realise that courts will seek to protect shop workers from people like you who will threaten them.”
He said he would no re-sentence him for breaching both community orders but said that made his position worse.
“Although you have made some progress it doesn’t stop you committing offences which is something you seem to have done for most of your adult life,” the judge jailed Griffiths, who admitted theft and possessing an offensive weapon, for 14 months.