A NOTORIOUS shoplifter with almost 150 offences on his record was last night (Thursday, August 28) behind bars for pulling a knife on a store boss.
Peter Ludgate threatened the manager of Lidl in Thirsk, North Yorkshire, when he was stopped trying to steal a 99p bag of sweets.
The jobless 39-year-old was spotted with a bulge up his shirt sleeve as he wandered around the shop swigging from a can of lager.
Loading article content
When he was challenged, Ludgate threw down a carrier bag containing his booze, and yelled: "All this for a packet of sweets."
He said: "I'm not going to empty my pockets. Are you going to make me?I've got a knife on me and I'm not afraid to use it."
Teesside Crown Court heard yesterday that he pulled the blade from a back pocket and thrust it forward, before dumping the sweets.
Mark Styles, prosecuting, said Ludgate picked up his cans and ran off, but was found by police nearby not long afterwards.
He admitted theft and possessing a bladed article at an earlier court hearing, and was yesterday locked up for 12 months.
Judge Howard Crowson told the dad-of-one: "You have an appalling record for dishonesty and using weapons to threaten people."
Andrew Morris, mitigating, said Ludgate has stable accommodation for the first time in a decade and would benefit from help.
He urged the judge not to jail his client, who, he said, "had every chance" to put his drink and drug problems behind him.
But Judge Crowson told Ludgate, of York Road, Barbeck, Thirsk: "Shops like Lidl need protecting from people like you."
The court heard that Ludgate has 147 previous offences including having an axe in 2001, carrying a knife on two separate occasions in 2009, and making threats with a blade while on the roof of an estate agents office two years ago.