Sheffield drug addict carried out 'terrifying' robbery at newsagents during nine-day stealing spree

A Sheffield drug addict, who stole from six shops in nine days and carried out a 'terrifying' robbery at a newsagents, has been jailed for over a year.
Stephen ElliottStephen Elliott
Stephen Elliott

Prolific shoplifter Stephen Elliott started his stealing spree at Sainsbury's on Archer Road, Millhouses on April 15 this year, when he ran out of the store with a number of items he had stolen including razors.

Prosecuting, Beverley Tait, told Sheffield Crown Court how Elliott, of Kyle Close, Southey Green was chased by staff and eventually came back in and returned the items. Later that day he stole razors from Wilkos in Corporation Street, Rotherham.

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On the evening of April 16, Elliott's offending turned violent when he robbed Division News in Division Street, Sheffield City Centre. Prior to the robbery taking place 43-year-old Elliott had come in to the newsagents with a number of people, and had become angry when the female shopkeeper asked him for money up front when he asked to buy some 'expensive' cigarettes from behind the counter.

Elliott and his friends left shortly after the exchange, but he returned on his own at around 10.40pm.

"He went straight to steal her bag, which she stopped him from doing by pulling it in to her. He then took her laptop from behind the counter," said Ms Tait adding that the woman ended up with a scratch on her neck during a tussle that ensued after Elliott stole her laptop.

He then exited the shop.

On April 19, Elliott stole £400 worth of razors from the Boots store in the High Street in Sheffield City Centre. Later that day he went into Homebase in Chesterfield Road, Woodseats and before leaving the store with a £400 power drill, he used aggressive language towards a female member of staff before threatening her.

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He told her: "I'm f****** sick of staff in here. If anyone comes after me, I'll stab them.

"If you shout for anyone, I'm going to come back in and f****** cut your throat."

He made his escape from the store, and carried out his next offences on April 23 and 24 when he stole razors on both days with a combined value of £523.

Elliott, who has 182 offences of theft on his criminal record, pleaded guilty to six counts of theft, a public order offence and one count of robbery in relation to the stealing spree at an earlier hearing.

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Defending, Laura Marshall, told the court Elliott was aware of why he had committed the offences, and was receiving more support in prison for his health problems and drug addiction than he did on 'the outside'.

Recorder Ray Singh sentenced him to a total of 20 months in prison, describing the robbery as a 'terrifying' ordeal for the shopworker involved.