A SHOPLIFTER knocked over a two-year-old girl as he fled from a Blackburn store.

Blackburn magistrates heard Scott McKay had been taking nitrazepam, a sleeping drug, which he had stolen from a chemist’s shop the previous night.

McKay, 41, of Hancock Street, Blackburn, pleaded guilty to theft of a cordless drill from Lidl, assaulting the two-year-old girl and burglary at Geloo Brothers Chemist in Darwen and theft of cash and tablets.

He was jailed for a total of 20 weeks.

Appearing with him, John Andrew Holt, 52, of Cardwell Place, Blackburn, pleaded guilty to theft of a cordless drill and a block of cheese from Lidl. He was sentenced to six weeks in prison.

Tracy Yates, prosecuting, said the two men had gone into Lidl at 1pm.

Both selected a power tool and Holt a block of cheese before they hurried out.

“McKay knocked over a two-year-old child who suffered a slight graze to her head,” said Mrs Yates.

“The girl was upset and distressed as a result of being barged over.”

Mrs Yates said police found two boxes of nitrazepam on McKay and he admitted taking three strips of the sleeping tablet that morning.

The officer remembered a burglary at a Darwen chemist the night before and checks revealed nitrazepam was among the items stolen.

Waseem Chowdhary, defending, said McKay had only recently been released from prison and was having difficulties with benefits.

“He accepts he was leaving in a rush and came into contact with the child,” said Mr Chowdhary.

“It certainly wasn’t deliberate.”

Jailing McKay, the chairman of the magistrates said it had been a reckless act which caused considerable distress to the child.