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Accrington store security officer tells court he feared for his safety
A SUPERMARKET security officer accused of attacking a drunken customer in revenge outside an Accrington store told a jury he ‘just gave him a jab’.
Matloob Akhtar, 37, claimed he thought Stephen Aldren was taking something out of his pocket and was going to go for him at the Tesco store.
Akhtar said he feared for his safety as he had been threatened and was ‘just defending’ himself.
The defendant alleged to Burnley Crown Court that Mr Aldren had been ‘mouthing off', had racially abused him, threatened to stab him and had challenged him, saying: “Come on, you big man.”
He claimed Mr Aldren had said he would bomb the store and wanted to burn it down. The court has been told how Mr Aldren suffered a smashed skull, after Akhtar is alleged to have lost his temper and delivered a blow which knocked him out cold. It all happened away from the CCTV the court was told and he landed heavily to the back of his head.
Prosecutor Timothy Brennand said Mr Aldren and another man had been misbehaving and ‘falling down drunk’ in the shop and a decision was taken to eject them. The defendant, of Avenue Parade, Accrington, denies inflicting grievous bodily harm.
Giving evidence, Akhtar said the two men went through a self-service checkout and didn’t pay for a packet of crisps and some orange juice.
They were stopped but Mr Aldren wasn’t willing to pay for the items.
Akhtar claimed Mr Aldren went towards him in an aggressive manner with a clenched fist and put his hand in his pocket.
He said: “In that pocket there could be anything “I thought he was going. to pull something out and go for me. Just to keep him away, I gave him a jab.”