Citizen's arrest leads to weapon-wielding shoplifter jailed
A SHOPLIFTER has been jailed after he threatened a store manager with a martial arts weapon as he was being chased in the street.
Thief Shane McCartney, 28, pulled the nunchaku rice flail from his pocket and swung it around to stop shop manager Daniel Lewis from making a citizen's arrest.
Mr Lewis recognised McCartney when he went into the Maplin electrical shop in Haven Lane, Exeter, and suspected he had sneaked something into his jacket, Exeter Crown Court was told.
McCartney, who was homeless at the time but previously lived at South Street, Exeter, admitted having an offensive weapon, shoplifting and breaching earlier community orders.
He was jailed for 12 months by Judge Francis Gilbert, who told him: "You took this weapon out of your pocket with the intention of intimidating the store manager to stop him detaining you.
"You were successful but he knew you and identified you and you were arrested by police an hour later and showed them where you had hidden the stolen property."
Janice Eagles, prosecuting, said McCartney was seen in the Maplin shop where he slipped a £54 power pack into his jacket but was followed out by manager Mr Lewis.
He was joined by a store detective from the neighbouring Bath Store and they tried to stop him in a nearby car park where he turned on them and threatened them with the flail.
She said he has 22 previous convictions, several for shoplifting, and was on a community order at the time.
Nigel Wraith, defending, said his client had been walking away and was trying to avoid a confrontation with Mr Lewis.
He said he had long-standing problems and had been homeless at the time, but now has a chance to make a new start at the Amber Project at Chulmleigh in North Devon.
Mr Wraith said a similar approach had proved successful in the past when McCartney had stayed away from crime for four years after going on a Prince's Trust course.
He had settled down, got a job, and married, but his life had reverted to its earlier chaotic pattern after he was made redundant.