Violent thief’s enormous list of previous convictions shocks judge

A homeless man’s extensive criminal record has shocked a judge who had to double-check the previous convictions really were 36 pages long.

Derby Crown Court heard how Daniel Small has 122 previous convictions just for shoplifting but in more recent years is “unusually” for his age getting more rather than less violent.

His latest crime spree in Derby city centre saw the 46-year-old assault one store detective and then threaten another with a stolen hammer.

Jailing him for a total of 16 months, Recorder Christopher Millington QC said: “You are a man in his mid-40s and who has a formidable number of previous convictions.

“Some 120 are for shop thefts, but in recent years you have begun to exhibit violent responses to those people that try to pursue you when you are stealing from their store.

“You arm yourself with weapons which subsequently deeply frightens and intimidates.

“On this day there was an element of pre-planning and you brandished a hammer in a way that left the store detective feeling he might be subjected to some serious violence.”

Stuart Lody, prosecuting, said the offending all took place on the morning of August 6, around a week after Small was released part-way through his last custodial term.

He said at 8.20am the defendant entered (the homeless shelter) Milestone House, in Green Lane, and asked a member of staff if he could borrow a phone.

Then, when that person was distracted, he left the building taking the mobile with him.

Mr Lody said at 10.10am Small walked into Marks and Spencer at the Intu Centre, which he was banned from for previous offences there.

He said: “A store detective went over to him as the defendant was holding a bottle of whisky and explained he needed to leave the shop.

“As he escorted him out the defendant said to him ‘do you know what being homeless does to you?’ and the detective was sympathetic towards him.

“But when they got outside the defendant aimed a kick at the detective who was able to block it with his arm.”

Mr Lody said Small next moved on to nearby Wilkos, in London Road, where he selected a hammer and £200 of perfumes and tried to leave without paying.

He said a guard there challenged the defendant who raised the hammer above his head “in a threatening and abusive manner”.

Mr Lody said the police, who had already been called, arrive and arrested him.

Small pleaded guilty to theft, assault, and using threatening words or behaviour.

Recorder Millington said to Mr Lody: “His list of previous convictions go on for some 36 pages?”

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He replied: “Yes, there are 122 previous convictions just for shop theft but more recently he has been convicted of possession of offensive weapons.

“Unusually, as he’s got older he has got more violent and he’s now living a rather wasted life.

“It is a revolving door of going in and out of prison constantly.”

Leanne Summers, mitigating, said her client has no family or support network and is homeless.

She said he had pleaded guilty to all of the charges at the earliest opportunity.

Miss Summers said: “Mr Lody is right when he describes Mr Small as going in and out of the revolving door of being released, re-offending and going back into custody.”


Courtesy of Derbyshire Live – Derby News