Shoplifter spat at police who found kitchen knife in handbag at Waitrose
An Ipswich woman has been jailed for shoplifting, carrying a kitchen knife and assaulting a police officer at Waitrose.
Nicole Forbes, 30, of Havergate Road, appeared at Suffolk Magistrates' Court on Wednesday to admit two shop thefts, knife possession and assaulting an emergency worker.
Having stolen a bottle of Drambuie from the Futura Park store on October 9, she returned five days later for £100.52 of meat.
Prosecutor Lesla Small told magistrates Forbes left the store but went back shortly afterwards.
Upon leaving a second time, she was detained by staff and led back inside, where two passing police officers were dealing with another individual.
After finding a kitchen knife in her handbag, police led Forbes to their car, where she became agitated and had to be restrained.
She then spat on an officer's shoulder and continued shouting, swearing and kicking out.
Police fitted Forbes with a spit hood and called for a secure van to transfer her to Martlesham Heath investigation centre, where she admitted the knife had come from her kitchen but could not explain its presence her bag.
David Allan, mitigating, said: "This was an object lesson in how to make a bad situation worse.
"She initially acted as peacekeeper and returned to put back the items - but the theft had already taken place when items were taken with requisite intent."
"Unfortunately, her protests went way beyond what was even remotely permissible," he added.
"She made no reference to the knife and no attempt to retrieve it from her bag, so there were no aggravating features to contradict the assertion she was unaware it was there, but it's very presence amounts to an offence, albeit it at the lower end of the scale."
Mr Allan said Forbes had sought help for alcohol misuse, which had driven her offending.
She was jailed for 14 weeks and told to pay £20 to Waitrose for the stolen Drambuie and £75 to the assaulted officer.
At the time of the offences, she was subject to a 12-month conditional discharge, imposed in August for criminal damage and two counts of common assault.