Yobs went on shoplift spree

TWO yobs went on a drink and drug-fuelled shoplifting spree when one attacked a shopkeeper with a bottle of stolen booze.

Edward Keenan hit the shopkeeper of Hartlepool’s 11 O’Clock shop, in Stockton Road, in the face with a bottle of spirits after chasing after Keenan.

Dheeraj Malhotra needed hospital treatment after suffering a broken tooth, cuts and bruises.

Keenan, 27, and Gary Dowson, 20, had entered the shop, on Tuesday, November 13, and stole two bottles of spirits

Mr Malhotra chased them out of the store but he was attacked by Keenan.

Rachel Masters, prosecuting at Teesside Crown Court, said: “One of the defendants grabbed the bottles and ran away from the shop. The shopkeeper chased after them.

“Dowson said to Keenan ‘just smack him’ and Keenan did so with a bottle in his hand and hit the shopkeeper to the right side of his face.

“It caused three loose teeth, one of them was broken.”

The pair fled but went straight to a nearby Premier Store where they stole £20 of lager.

Keenan was arrested later that night when he was drunk and kept in custody.

The pair also stole lager from the Nisa store in Owton Manor Lane, on November 12, and a One Stop Shop on November 13.

Keenan admitted actual bodily harm against Mr Malhotra, and he and Dowson admitted three shop thefts.

Dowson also admitted dangerous driving after a late-night police chase when he drove at speeds of up to 50mph in the Owton Manor area.

The pursuit started in Topcliffe Street when a VW Golf Dowson was driving was flagged up for not being insured. He was eventually veered off the road by police.

Miss Masters added: “He collided with a marked police vehicle travelling in the opposite direction on Owton Manor Lane and smashed into some bollards before coming to a complete stop.”

Richard Herrmann, mitigating for both defendants, said: “It was an incredibly foolish two-day spree the pair of them embarked on.

“They were stealing alcohol to feed their desire for it. Mr Keenan was fuelled by drink and diazepam.”

Keenan, of Catcote Road, was given nine-months jail, suspended for two years with supervision and a four-month tagged curfew.

Dowson, of Topcliffe Street, was given 13-months prison, suspended for two years with 18 months supervision and 120 hours unpaid work.