Beer thieves assault shopkeeper during alcohol raid on Hartlepool store

The case was heard at Teesside Magistrates' Court.
The case was heard at Teesside Magistrates' Court.

A shopkeeper was assaulted during an altercation that saw two shoplifters steal crates of alcohol from his store.

Callum Blair and a teenage girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, admitting stealing beer from the Premier Cascade convenience store in Andrew Street, Hartlepool.

Blair and the 16-year-old girl admitted assaulting shopkeeper Seethaiah Gamidi.

Co-defendant Karl Blair admitted using threatening behaviour towards Mr Gamidi.

They were cleared of racially abusing a shopkeeper after their victim failed to turn at court up to give evidence.

The Blairs and the 16-year-old were among five people causing trouble at the shop, Teesside Magistrates' Court heard.

"The girl and another young woman approached the counter as the two men, including Callum Blair, picked up packs of beer," said Joe Colley, prosecuting.

"Mr Gamidi became suspicious and went to challenge the men.

"He was pushed in the chest up a short flight of stairs, then pushed back down again.

"Karl Blair appeared at the top of the stairs but did not fully enter the shop.

"All fled with the two packs of beer valued at £10 each."

Mr Colley said the victim could not be contacted.

"In those circumstances I will offer no evidence on three racially aggravated charges faced by these defendants."

Callum Blair, 20, of Catcote Road, Hartlepool, admitted theft and assault. He was found not guilty of racially aggravated assault.

Karl Blair, 24, of Mitchell Street, Hartlepool, admitted threatening behaviour. He was found not guilty of racially aggravated threatening behaviour.

The 16-year-old girl admitted theft and assault.

She was found not guilty of racially aggravated assault.

All offences were on December 4.

John Relton, defending the Blairs, said Karl Blair was of previous good character and didn't want to get involved in the theft, which is why he stayed outside the shop.

Mr Relton said Callum Blair has a limited record, and did little more than push past the victim to get out of the shop.

Callum Blair was sentenced to a community order of 12 months, 20 rehabilitation activity days, a curfew of one month, and he was ordered to pay £170 in costs and compensation.

Karl Blair was ordered to pay £310 in fines, costs, and compensation.

The 16-year-old girl was given a youth referral order and ordered to pay £115 in costs and compensation.

Bench chairman Peter Bacon told the Blairs: "It is disgusting to see on the CCTV young people behaving in the way you did.

"The court doesn't want to see any of you again."

All three defndants were banned from entering Premier Cascade convenience store for 18 months.