A prolific thief has been banned from a supermarket after trying to rob the cashier.
David Greaves, from Church, ‘shoved and pushed’ Marta Majkowska at the Accrington Lidl store and grabbed £670 from her till before being hauled to the ground by staff and customers.
Burnley Crown Court heard Greaves receives £1,000 a month in sickness benefits but had built up a £700 drug debt after relapsing into crack cocaine abuse.
The 46-year-old, who has 31 convictions for 78 previous offences, pleaded guilty to robbery and three separate offences of fraud by using a false prescription.
He was given a two-year community order with a nine-month drug rehabilitation requirement and a 40-day rehabilitation activity requirement.
He was also given a 12-month restraining order banning him from entering the Lidl store on Hyndburn Road and ordered to pay £50 compensation to the cashier.
Stephen Parker, prosecuting, told the court how Greaves was in the queue at Lidl to buy a ‘cheap energy drink’ at around 3.40pm on November 3 last year.
When cashier Ms Majkowska opened her till he ‘shoved her backwards’ before grabbing all the £10 notes and tried to flee.
However he was pulled to the floor by another staff member and a customer before ‘lashing out’ as he was being detained by the store manager and a security guard.
Mr Parker said the cashier was left ‘scared and physically shaking’.
When Greaves, of Walmsley Close, was later questioned by police he said he received £1,000 in sickness benefits but had been taking crack cocaine and built up a drug debt.
The court heard how when Greaves was bailed he was later caught on three occasions trying to secure drugs from Accrington pharmacies using false prescriptions.
Mr Parker said Greaves had ‘somehow come into possession’ of stolen prescription pads and attended the Accrington Late Night Pharmacy on Blackburn Road, the Asda store pharmacy on Hyndburn Road and Boots in the town centre in November 2016.
The court heard how staff at each pharmacy were ‘suspicious’ because the prescriptions were handwritten instead of being printed out and included spelling mistakes.
A staff member at Boots alerted the police who arrested Greaves at the store.
'Greaves being given support by the church'
Defence barrister Neil Howard said Greaves was now receiving support from his local church.
He told the court: “He has moved away with previous associations and got in touch with the church. He is a religious man.
“From Christmas onwards he does appear to have turned his back on drugs and has become even more involved with the church and is supported by a member of the congregation today.
“He has support from the church should he feel he is about to relapse and has immediate access to people who could help him.
"He is very grateful for their support and says he has let a large number of people down who put their faith in him.”
Mr Howard said Greaves had an ‘unenviable’ criminal record and at the time of the robbery and fraud offences had ‘relapsed’ into alcohol and drug misuse.
He said: “He previously had problems with class A drugs including heroin.
“He relapsed into crack cocaine and got into debt.
“The frauds are evidence of his desperation. They were not sophisticated and had almost no chance of success.
"He has shown some remorse for his actions and the trauma caused to the [robbery] complainant.”