Thief attacked shop worker

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A Billinge man has been jailed after stealing packets of washing powder.

Jamie Ratchford, of Avon Road, admitted taking £23.56 worth of Ariel wash products and also assaulting shop worker Stephen 

Wigan and Leigh magistrates’ Court was told Ratchford entered the Co-Op store in Orrell at around 9.30am on October 12 with two other men.

The two men then proceeded to exit the store as the defendant stayed behind.

Prosecuting Katie Beattie explained that shop worker Stephen Jones witnessed Ratchford pick up the washing powder and place them in his bag.

In a statement read by Ms Beattie, Mr Jones proceeded to approach the defendant and ask him if he had taken the products which he denied.

Ms Beattie said the victim was then able to open the bag and it was clear that the items had been placed inside.

She said: “Mr Jones told him to stay where he was because he would have to go and ring the police.”

Ratchford then refused and started to shout and swear at the victim before grabbing both his arms and pushing him backwards.

During the assault, the defendant then lost his footing and ended up falling and landing into a display of chocolates.

It was then Mr Jones, who hadn’t been injured in the assault, had the chance to recover the items and contact the police.

Defending, Mr Ferguson told the court only two days before the incident did Ratchford get handed a suspended sentence for another offence.

The 26-year-old was sentenced to four weeks in custody for the theft and two weeks in custody for the assault, each to run consecutively.