A man has been jailed for slashing a security guard in the hand during a prolonged and violent attack at Doncaster’s Frenchgate shopping centre.
Prolific criminal, Warren Johnson, became aggressive after he was approached by security guards working at the Sainsbury’s store located on the ground floor of the Frenchgate on October 2 this year.
“They asked him to return to the store, and his response was to swear, threaten to slash them and to produce a small craft knife and hold it about 30 centimetres from the face of one of the security guards,” Richard Sheldon, prosecuting, told Sheffield Crown Court.
The security guards subsequently attempted to restrain Johnson, aged 44, and as they did so they were joined by a third security guard.
“The defendant was taken to the ground during the course of the struggle. He continued to shout he was going to slash someone,” said Mr Sheldon.
The third security guard received a cut to his left thumb during the course of the struggle, the court heard.
Following this, the security guards escorted Johnson back to Sainsbury’s to wait for the police, but he escaped and managed to prise his knife from the hand of one of the security guards.
Mr Sheldon said: “There was a further melee with the security guards and the defendant refused to release the blade. He was taken to the floor again and was restrained until police arrived.”
Johnson, who has a long criminal record for offences of theft, was on license for a burglary charge when he committed this latest set of offences and was recalled to prison after being arrested at the scene.
Mr Sheldon said Johnson’s extensive record and the fact the incident took place in the middle of the day when men, women and children were at the shopping centre should be regarded as aggravating factors.
Johnson, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to common assault, possessing a bladed article in a public place and using threatening words or behaviour at an earlier hearing.
Richard Hague, defending, told the court that Johnson had been dealt by way of a prison sentence in 22 out of 23 court appearances.
“His life is dribbling away in prison..he knows he has to be the master of his own destiny,” said Mr Hague, adding: “Members of the public present in the Frenchgate when this happened were largely ignoring it. So while there was some disorder, the risk of serious disorder was comparatively small.”
The judge, Recorder Rachael Harrison, sentenced Johnson to 16 months in prison.
She told Johnson: “You caused a minor injury to a member of the security team. You produced a knife that is intended for concealment.”