Drunk smashed 
bottle over shop manager’s head

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A man who smashed a bottle of red wine over a shop manager’s head before fleeing with stolen booze has been jailed.

James Michael Sykes left the worker at Sainsbury’s Local, on Dewsbury Road, Lupset, lying on the floor bleeding after the incident at 7am on Wednesday, March 20.

A court heard that store manager Anthony Storey had confronted Sykes, 20, and his friend Christopher James Potts, 26, as they tried to leave the shop without paying for £40 worth of wine and beer.

When Mr Storey asked them to make their way to the counter, they swore at him and Sykes swung a bottle of wine over his head, knocking him to the floor. The court heard that both men, who were drunk at the time, left laughing.

Sykes, of Orchard Avenue, Stanley, was sentenced to 12 weeks in prison after pleading guilty to assault by beating and theft at Wakefield Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.

Deputy district judge Tim Spruce said: “This is an extremely serious incident. It might have started out as a shop theft, but when the store manager confronts you, you hit him over the head with a bottle.”

Potts, of Doncaster Road, Wakefield, also pleaded guilty to theft and was ordered to carry out unpaid work.

The court heard how the pair were drunk when they entered the store and grabbed crates of beer and bottles of wine from the shelves. They were seen trying to leave by Mr Storey who stepped in front of them. After he was hit and fell to the floor, he jumped to his feet and ran after them and saw them both further up the road laughing at him.

Mr Storey suffered mild concussion and bruising.

The court heard how Sykes had previously completed a binge drinking programme but had told probation he “did not see the need to change”.

Rob Fones, mitigating, said neither could remember what happened and Sykes may have unintentionally hit the manager as he pushed out with the bottle in his hand.

Potts was given a 12-month community order with 100-hours unpaid work and a 15-day activity requirement.

And Sykes was also ordered to pay £120 compensation.