Prolific shoplifter defied Leeds city centre ban and attacked staff member at Currys store

A prolific shoplifter attacked a member of staff at a Currys store after defying a ban from entering Leeds city centre.

Wednesday, 12th February 2020, 11:45 am

Benjamin Wallbank carried out the offence at the store at Crown Point retail park just six days after being released from prison for shoplifting offences.

Leeds Crown Court heard Wallbank has 98 previous convictions, mainly for offences of theft.

He was made the subject of a criminal behaviour order in April 2018 that banned him from entering areas in and around Leeds city centre.

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Shoplifter Benjamin Wallbank attack staff member at Currys store at Crown Point retail park

Richard Holland, prosecuting, said Wallbank was well known to staff at the Currys store and he was banned from entering Crown Point.

Staff members spotted the defendant inside the store on January 20 this year and he was stopped as he left the premises.

Mr Holland said Wallbank became "belligerent" and pushed one of the workers in the chest.

He was restrained and police were contacted.

Two Samsung memory cards and a pair of headphones were found in his bag,

Wallbank, of Congress Mount, Armley, continued to be aggressive when he was put in the back of a police van and told he was being arrested for breaching his criminal behaviour order.

The defendant was interviewed about the incident and said the items found in his bag belonged to him and he had not stolen them.

He pleaded guilty to assault and breaching a criminal behaviour order.

It is the ninth time he has breached the order.

Jane Cooper, mitigating, said Wallbank had pleaded guilty to the offences at an early stage and committed them out of desperation as he had no money after being released from prison.

She said: "He found himself in a not uncommon situation. He had no benefits and nowhere to live.

Wallbank was jailed for nine months.