A MAN who went on a month long shoplifting spree twice assaulted female members of staff who tried to stop him.

Blackburn magistrates heard that in the middle of the spree Lyndon King also assaulted another woman in front of her seven-year-old child, who ran upstairs in fear.

King, 30, of Park Lee Road, Blackburn, pleaded guilty to 14 offences of shoplifting, three charges of assault and one of using threatening behaviour.

District Judge Alexandra Preston said the spate of offending could only be described as a spree, which included assaults on two female members of staff.

“These are hard working people who shouldn’t have to put up with being assaulted by you when you tried to get away,” said District Judge Preston.

“In my view you are a menace to shops and those who work in them.”

The district judge jailed him for 26 weeks.

Graeme Tindall, prosecuting, said the shoplifting offences had all been linked to King because he had been identified by staff or caught on CCTV.

He said on both occasions when he was challenged by female members of staff King had barged past them, knocking both women to the floor.

The other woman who was assaulted was known to King.

He visited a house where she was present and there was an argument.

“He lunged towards her and grabbed the scarf around her neck,” said Mr Tindall.

“During the course of dragging her to the floor he used some choice language and the victim’s seven year old son to run upstairs, fearing for his own safety.”

Jonathan Taylor, defending, said there were a large number of offences and the simple choice for the judge was whether she was prepared to suspend a custodial sentence.

He said King had been remanded in custody for four days and the short sharp shock of that may encourage him to keep to the terms of a suspended sentence.