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Shoplifter jailed after attacking two B&Q workers who tried to stop him getting away

PUBLISHED: 15:01 14 August 2019 | UPDATED: 17:19 14 August 2019

Kurtis Harper who has been jailed for shoplifting and assault. Picture: Norfolk Constabulary

Kurtis Harper who has been jailed for shoplifting and assault. Picture: Norfolk Constabulary

Norfolk Constabulary

A prolific shoplifter attacked two members of staff at B&Q in Great Yarmouth when they tried to stop him leaving the store with nearly £700 worth of goods.

The B&Q store at Pasteur Retail Park in Great Yarmouth. Picture Google.The B&Q store at Pasteur Retail Park in Great Yarmouth. Picture Google.

Kurtis Harper, 25, punched a female member of staff in the struggle when he tried to run off with a carrier bag full of USB cables and also assaulted a male shopworker, who tried to restrain him, Norwich Crown Court heard.

Danielle O'Donovan, prosecuting, said the staff were simply doing their public duty and said the female staff member was particularly vulnerable.

Harper, of Howard Street South, Great Yarmouth, admitted 12 shoplifting offences between April 26 and June 24 in which a total of £3000 worth of items were stolen. He also admitted assaulting the two members of staff at B&Q on June 25, this year.

Harper, who appeared over a video link from Norwich prison, also asked for two similar offences to be taken into consideration.

The court heard he had 32 convictions for 67 offences, which included 28 for theft and heard that he stole to fund his drug habit.

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Jailing him, Judge Stephen Holt said shops could not afford to have thefts of this kind: "They can ill-afford to lose merchandise to people like you."

He said Harper had also attacked two shop workers and said: "You caused minor injuries to them but none the less they were injuries."

However, he accepted his offending was because of his drug habit and told him that it was up to him to try to stop re-offending in this way,

"You are motivated to try to control your drugs habit. Whether you can that is up to you."

David Stewart, for Harper, said "Drugs are this young man's problem."

He said that he was homeless and on drugs at the time of the offences but was now trying to get free of drugs.

"There is hope."

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