Asda guard tried to mow down shoplifter with his van after £5 wine bottle stolen


A supermarket security guard tried to run down a shoplifter in his van in a rage after he was caught stealing a bottle of wine worth £5.

Seething Stephen Johnson then cut himself with a blade 16 times, slashing his clothes in a bid to cover his tracks and claim he had been the victim.

A court heard the Asda employee had been working 12-hour shifts and 10 days straight before the ‘complete meltdown’ and shocking eruption of violence.

Johnson, 27, was working at a supermarket in Bolton when he chased a thief from the store on July 25, 2018, the MEN reports.

But when he couldn’t catch him he decided to take justice into his own hands by climbing into his work van, a Peugeot Partner, and trying to run the man down.

The Asda store on St Helens Road in Daubhill, Bolton
The Asda store on St Helens Road in Daubhill, Bolton

Luckily for the thief, Steven Quinn, he and his friend, Daniel Lee, were able to clamber over a nearby railing and escape serious injury.

Quinn was clipped by the van and was left with minor injuries.

Immediately after he tried to attack the pair, Johnson drove back to the shop and cut himself with a knife, slashing through his own clothes to make it seem like he had been attacked.

He then told police he had been the victim of an assault involving Lee having cut himself 16 times.

Johnson maintained the lie in interviews with officers and continued to say he had been attacked when he appeared in court, despite CCTV evidence.

At an earlier hearing, after his claims had been thrown out by Judge Graeme Smith, Johnson pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, perverting the course of justice and possession of cannabis.

He appeared before the judge again at Bolton Crown Court on Friday.

Explaining the case, prosecutor Rob Hall told the hearing that that the incident could have been much more serious.

“This was clearly a road rage incident, the defendant has at some speed mounted the pavement and has driven around the corner past the corner of an open shop,” he said.

“He drove at the two males, Mr Quinn and Mr Lee. The space which they were standing in was confined space between the shop and the railings.

“It’s fair to say if they had not jumped over the railways they might have been run over by that vehicle.”

Defending, Ian Metcalfe, said that Johnson had previously been of good character and that his parents, girlfriend and two managers had sent letters to the court supporting him.

He said the 27-year-old had received numerous promotions within the security company contracted to work at the store but that he was ‘unsuited’ for the role because of the mounting pressure on his job.

Mr Metcalfe also said that Johnson had suffered a ‘complete meltdown’, partly due to the fact he had been completing 12-hour shifts and had worked for ten days in a row before the incident.

But, despite being urged toward leniency, the judge said that Johnson’s crimes warranted a period in prison.

He said: “You inflicted a number of injuries on yourself and then continued to give the impression that you have been stabbed.”

Mr Smith then explained that, even after Johnson had admitted to causing some of the wounds to himself, he still persisted in telling the court he had been attacked.

He added: “This is one of those cases when appropriate punishment can only be served by immediate custody.”

Johnson, of Harrogate Road, Stockport, was handed a 22-month prison sentence and a 23-month disqualification from driving.

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