Burglar jailed over knife threat to Leeds store staff

Dylan McPherson.
Dylan McPherson.
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A man who threatened staff with knives at a Marks and Spencer store while on the run for burgling a student flat has been jailed for 41 months.

Dylan McPherson was sent to prison after a court heard he was arrested after the incident at the M&S store on Harrogate Road, Moortown, in May this year.

Leeds Crown Court heard McPherson, an amputee, activated a security alarm as he left the store with a bag containing over £100 of alcohol.

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He pointed to his knee to indicate that it was the reason for the alarm sounding but staff chased him when they realised he had not paid for his goods.

McPherson was stopped at a zebra crossing nearby but told staff he had two knives and showed them the weapons, which were in the bag.

He made off but was stopped a short time later on Scott Hall Road when more staff joined in the chase.

The bag was found abandoned nearby and contained two 15cm knives.

At the time of the offence McPherson was at large after failing to answer bail for a burglary offence a year earlier.

The court heard McPherson had gone into a city centre student property at Park House apartments, Park Row, and stole items including a lap top computer worth £800.

He was seen later the same day trying to sell the equipment at a Cash Converters store.

McPherson, also known as Dylan Furness, was linked to the offence after a cigarette butt was found on the floor of the bedroom and contained his DNA.

McPherson, of Fieldhouse Drive, Moortown, pleaded guilty to burglary, theft and two offences of possession of a bladed article.

The court heard he has 28 convictions for 75 previous offences.

Adrian Pollard, mitigating, said McPherson was suffering from a psychiatric disorder and was motivated to accept treatment while in custody.

Mr Pollard said his offending was linked to drug and alcohol abuse.

Judge Tom Bayliss, QC, said: “You were fortunate to have bail.

“You breached that bail and while at large you committed another very serious offence.

“The public have a right to expect the courts to deal severely with those who carry knives and I am afraid that the sentence in respect of that must be a prison sentence.”

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