Thief who threatened shop staff with infected needles is jailed

John Nicholas William Larkin. Picture courtesy of Sussex Police SUS-190802-102252001
John Nicholas William Larkin. Picture courtesy of Sussex Police SUS-190802-102252001

A prolific shoplifter, who threatened shop staff with needles infected with Hepatitis B, has been jailed.

Police said John Nicholas William Larkin, of Willingdon Way, St Leonards, was sent to prison for six months and made the subject of a criminal behaviour order for two years.

Sentence was imposed by Hastings magistrates after Larkin, 32 and unemployed appeared before them and heard how he threatened shop staff with needles infected with Hepatitis B if they approached him.

Police said Larkin pleaded guilty to numerous thefts, including stealing five cosmetic gift packs from Morrisons supermarket, Hargreaves Road, Eastbourne, on December 27, 2018; stealing meat and alcohol worth £136.50 from Aldi, Lottbridge Drove, Eastbourne, on the same day, stealing six bottles of whisky worth £130 from Asda, Battle Road, St Leonards, on December 26, stealing 11 bottles of Ariel Gel worth £56 from the Co-op, Devonshire Road, Bexhill on December 2, and being concerned with others stole nine tins of coffee worth £45 from the Co-op, Western Road, Bexhill, on the same day.

Police said Larkin also admitted assaulting Glen Birch at Morrisons, Eastbourne, on December 27, assaulting Fabio Defraitus at Aldi, Eastbourne, the same day, assaulting Paul Bell at Asda, St Leonards, on December 26, causing £200 damage to a door lock at Hastings Law Courts on July 2, 2018, threatening Michael Borrer at Hastings Law Courts on July 7, and failing to surrender to custody at Hastings Law Courts on December 18.

Police added that the criminal behaviour order against Larkin prohibits him from possessing any needles or pointed objects in public for two years.

He was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £115.

His guilty pleas were taken into account when imposing sentence.