A PROLIFIC criminal with more than 150 offences on his record has been jailed for threatening security staff with a hypodermic needle.

Raymond Wilson was caught shoplifting £143 worth of goods from Sainsbury's on Victoria Road in Darlington on May 26.

When he was taken into a detention room by a security guard, he pulled a hypodermic needle from his pocket and pointed it towards him.

Wilson, of Corporation Road, Darlington, pleaded guilty before magistrates to possessing bladed article and theft and was sentenced via video link at Teesside Crown Court on Wednesday.

Prosecuting, Emma Atkinson said that Wilson had threatened the security guard with the needle to the extent that he felt it necessary to press the panic alarm.

She told the court that 36-year-old Wilson had a record of 74 convictions for 156 offences, adding: "It is safe to say that he has got a history of dishonesty on his record, whether it be theft, burglary or handling stolen goods.

"There are some matters of violence on his record, public disorder, drugs and common assaults."

The Northern Echo:

Raymond Wilson was shoplifting from the Sainsbury's on Victoria Road in Darlington Picture: Google

Miss Atkinson said that Wilson was convicted in September 2015 for possessing a meat cleaver and a suspended sentence was activated in January this year after he was caught with a blade.

Mitigating, Michele Turner said that all the stolen items were recovered and Wilson deserved credit for his early guilty pleas.

She said that he has paranoid schizophrenia and had not been taking his medication at the time of the offences.

Miss Turner described Wilson as being in 'some kind of crisis' as he was having difficulty accessing health services and there was no face to face support at the height of lockdown.

She said: "He was self-medicating on drink and drugs to combat whatever was going on in his head at the time."

Miss Turner said that he was now back on his medication and engaging with professionals to manage his condition.

Sentencing, Judge Stephen Ashurst said he accepted that Wilson did not remove the cap from the needle nor physically threaten the security guard with it.

However, he said that the incident occurred in a small room and Wilson had continued to stare at the security guard while telling him that he 'would remember his face'.

Judge Ashurst said: "The worrying aspect of your case is that there are three previous occasions when you have been dealt with by the courts for having either blades or offensive weapons."

He added that his record of being 'in and out of prison' showed that sentencing options such as drug rehabilitation and community orders had not worked. Wilson was sentenced to 12-months in prison for the bladed article offence, with two months concurrent for shoplifting.