Cheltenham drug addict spat in face of shopkeeper
A DRUG addict spat in the face of a man who tried to stop him stealing from a store.
Pets at Home manager John Smith confronted Steven Calvin Sharpe, 27, outside Homebase, Cheltenham.
Sharpe had been on a six-week crime spree in which he stole goods worth £3,600.
In a victim impact statement read to magistrates, Mr Smith said: "I have never been spat at in my life.
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"I have been taken aback by this act of total disregard for my state of health.
"I had to stop myself from being outraged and committing a crime by hitting him.
"As much as I wanted to hit him I had to restrain myself.
"I don't know if he is HIV positive.
I feel very annoyed, the spit could have gone in my eyes.
"I don't wish to lose my job, which I could have."
Earlier the court heard how Sharpe committed 17 thefts in Cheltenham to fund his heroin habit.
He stole from Cheltenham shops Dunelm Mill, Gloucester Road Co-op, Asda, Cult Clothing, Homebase, and Tesco in Colletts Drive.
His hoard of stolen goods included bedding, two laptop computers, meat, a power tool, other electrical goods, and eight Superdry jackets worth a total of £2,176.89.
His crimes were committed between July 28 and September 8.
Then he spat at Mr Smith as he tried to leave Homebase on September 8.
Sharpe, formerly of Buckingham Avenue, Rowanfield, and now of Princess Elizabeth Way, admitted all charges.
He asked for nine other thefts worth £1,461.78 to be taken into consideration, said Heidi Price, prosecuting at Stroud Magistrates' Court.
Nick Cooper, defending, said Sharpe had lost his job and started stealing to feed his heroin habit.
Sharpe was jailed for three years in 2005 after leading police on a high-speed car chase through Cheltenham town centre.
He has written a letter of apology to Mr Smith.
He was ordered to pay £100 in compensation, and to complete an 18-month community order with a drug rehabilitation requirement for a total of six months.
He was also sentenced to 20 days of conflict resolution and anger management courses, and be under a 7pm to 7am curfew for eight weeks, plus pay £40 towards prosecution costs and a £15 victim surcharge.