'Audacious' Asda bike thief made gun threat to Leeds PCSO and attacked two more officers during drug-fuelled rampage

A thief who stole bicycles from a Leeds Asda store made a gun threat to a police officer and attacked two others after being arrested.

Sunday, 25th July 2021, 4:45 pm

John Pearson was locked up for eight months over the drink and drug-fuelled offending on May 27 this year.

Martin Robertshaw, prosecuting, told Leeds Crown Court how Pearson had been involved in "quite audacious" thefts of push bikes from the Asda store in Holt Park.

Pearson and two others entered the store and approached a stack of bikes which were in boxes ready to be delivered to members of the public.

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Asda, Holt Park.

CCTV footage showed the defendant and the others carrying four bikes, worth £100 each, out of the store.

Police were informed and a police community support officer saw a youth in the area who was believed to have been involved in the thefts.

The officer stopped the teenager on Holt Farm Rise.

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A female threw beer at the officer and threats were made by members of the group.

Pearson said to the officer: "If I see you again I will kill you."

The prosecutor said: "He was seen to gesture towards the officer and was waving his hand in the air, making it appear as if he had some sort of gun."

Pearson then charged at the officer and he fled, fearing for his safety.

More officers arrived at the scene and Pearson was arrested then taken into custody.

While at a police station he managed to slip one hand out of his handcuffs.

He headbutted an officer and bit him on the head.

The 24-year-old defendant also managed to get the officer into a headlock.

He aimed punches at a female officer who went to help her colleague.

The defendant was seen laughing during the incident.

Pearson was searched and found in possession of four tablets which contained a class C drug.

Pearson, of Naburn Walk, Whinmoor, pleaded guilty to theft, three counts of assaulting an emergency worker and possession of a class C drug.

Jessica Heggie, mitigating, said Pearson pleaded guilty to the offences at an early stage and was ashamed of what he had done.

Ms Heggie said: "He was under the influence of drugs and alcohol at the time."

Jailing Pearson, Recorder Darren Preston said: "Mr Pearson, all emergency workers have a difficult enough job as it is, particularly in this pandemic, without you attacking them."