Stab threat yob avoids jail

A YOB who threatened to stab a shop worker has narrowly avoided jail.

Paul Nash, 27, threatened to “knife” Karen West just after he was released from police custody and warned to stay away from the store.

He was arrested the previous day for kicking off Mrs West’s car wing mirror after being told to leave Gillens convenience store, in Catcote Road, Hartlepool, where he had previously been barred.

Mrs West, who works at the store, was so frightened when she heard about the threat that she had CCTV cameras installed at her home.

Nash admitted criminal damage and witness intimidation but was spared instant jail at Teesside Crown Court.

He was given a suspended sentence so he could get help with drink and drug problems.

The court heard how problems started two years ago after Nash was barred from the shop for stealing a sandwich.

On January 25, Nash threatened to petrol bomb Mrs West’s car when she told him to leave the shop.

He kicked a wing mirror off her car, causing around £100 damage.

Nash was arrested the next morning and later bailed.

But on his way home he went in the store and asked to speak to Mrs West.

Sue Jacobs, prosecuting, said: “He was told she was not at work but said to other member’s of staff ‘tell Karen she’s getting knifed’.”

In a victim impact statement, Mrs West told how her “heart was racing” when she was told about the threat and checked all the doors and windows of her home.

When police went to arrest Nash they discovered 29 cannabis plants growing.

Martin Scarborough, mitigating, said: “He’s a young man who has a limited history, albeit targeted to this store.

“He accepts being abusive on occasions.”

He added the cannabis was for Nash’s personal use.

Nash, of Homer Grove, Hartlepool, was given a 12-months prison sentence suspended for 12 months and two-years probation supervision.

He was also given a two year restraining order banning him from contacting Mrs West or entering any of Hartlepool’s five Gillens stores.

Recorder Andrew Sutcliffesaid: “I have read the victim impact statement carefully and it’s clear that she was very frightened indeed.”