Shoplifter attacked pregnant pound shop worker and stabbed man with syringe at West Yorkshire retail park

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A thief attacked a pregnant discount store worker then stabbed a man with a syringe after he was caught stealing.

A court heard the victim had to face an agonising wait to find out if he had been infected with hepatitis after the incident at the One Below store at Westgate Retail Park, in Wakefield.

Leeds Crown Court heard prolific shoplifter Mark Alderson went into the store at 4pm on February 27 this year.

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Jessica Strange, prosecuting, said Alderson was well known to staff members and a woman who worked at the store tried to stop him he left the premises.

Westgate Retail ParkWestgate Retail Park
Westgate Retail Park

Alderson deliberately barged into the woman, who was 26 weeks pregnant at the time, and managed to escape.

Miss Strange said the woman's father was shopping in the store and he chased after Alderson along with a male member of staff.

Alderson boarded a bus nearby but was followed onto the vehicle by the staff members.

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The bus driver then told Alderson he was going to call the police and the defendant got off and tried to run away.

The woman's father then grabbed Alderson and held him on the ground for ten minutes.

The prosecutor said Alderson had a syringe in his mouth which pierced the victim's skin as he struggled.

Alderson managed to get away but was arrested the next day.

When interviewed he told officers that he had hepatitis and said there was a chance the victim may have been infected with the disease.

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The court heard the man had to be tested for the disease at hospital but it proved negative.

The man described in a victim statement how he suffered sleepless nights as he waited for the test results.

Alderson, 45, of Arundel Close, Wakefield, pleaded guilty to theft, common assault and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

The court heard he has 106 previous convictions, mainly for offences of theft.

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Stephen Welford, mitigating, said Alderson pleaded guilty to the offences at an early stage.

He said Alderson had not deliberately attacked the victim with the syringe.

Mr Welford added: "It was a reckless assault upon the man, causing great upset to him."

Alderson was jailed for 12 months.

Judge Tom Bayliss, QC, said: "You must have realised the danger of transmission of the disease should the point of the syringe come into contact with (the victim) and it did.".