Violent Hartlepool shoplifter jailed after attacking store security guard

A violent woman shoplifter with 11 convictions for assaults has been jailed for attacking a store security guard.

Friday, 3rd September 2021, 4:45 am

Toni Harrison, 31, from Hartlepool, was already serving a suspended prison sentence when two guards caught her acting suspiciously in Poundland at the town’s Middleton Grange shopping centre.

She was swigging from a bottle of Ribena at 10.45am on June 22 of this year and refused to accompany them to the store room before attempting to push past them.

When they eventually released her inside the room, she immediately struck one of them on the head with the bottle, causing him pain, and she was restrained on the floor while the police were called, Teesside Crown Court was told

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The incident took place at Hartlepool's Middleton Grange Shopping Centre.

While she was being held down, she threatened to get various members of her family from the travelling community to assault him, said prosecutor Matthew Hopkins.

When she was being searched in custody, an officer felt a sharp pain to his hand and found a razor blade in her right trouser pocket.

Harrison said: "I have that because in the house I have stayed in I need it on the streets."

She admitted carrying it for her own protection.

The Hartlepool case was heard at Teesside Crown Court, Middlesbrough. Picture by FRANK REID.

The security guard said in a Victim Impact statement that he had been at the store for 12 years and had been previously attacked by shoplifters.

He added: “She said that she was from the travelling community and that I would be battered by herself and her colleagues. She said that she would be waiting for me."

Harrison had 13 previous convictions for 33 offences with 11 of them against people, including on emergency workers, Mr Hopkins told the court.

James Howard, defending, said in mitigation that Harrison, who had been remanded in custody awaiting sentence, disputed making threats as were described.

She pleaded guilty to battery and possession of a bladed article in public and also to a breach of a suspended prison sentence.

Harrison, who lives in the town’s Melrose Street, appeared over a videolink from Low Newton Prison, in Durham, was jailed for eight months, including four months triggered as part of the suspended sentence she was serving.

She was also ordered to pay £128 compensation to the guard.

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