B&M security guard hit with lager can and needed hospital treatment after shocking attack by Sunderland robber

A security guard needed hospital treatment after a shop robber used "considerable violence" to steal a pack of lager.

Liam Rolfe repeatedly punched the worker at the B&M store in Southwick, Sunderland, hit the back of his head with a can, tried to bite his ear, pushed his finger into his eye and threatened to kill him during the terrifying raid.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the victim had to be taken to hospital and needed seven stitches to a split scalp after the attack.

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Prosecutor Rachael Glover told the court Rolfe had gone into the store, where he was already banned from for shoplifting, on October 3 last year and was told to leave by the guard.

Liam Rolfe.

But Rolfe then picked up a ten pack of lager and told him: "I'm going to have one of these."

Miss Glover said there was then a violent struggle between the two men and they ended up on the floor.

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She told the court: "The defendant punched him to the head and picked up cans from the floor then threw more punches to the complainant.

"The defendant then picked up two cans of lager and threw them at him but fortunately missed.

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"The complainant said the defendant told him 'I'm going to have you' and continued to swing more punches before he picked up a third can and hit him onthe back of the head, which caused the can to split.

"When on the floor, the complainant said the defendant tried to bit his ear and push his finger into his eye."

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The court heard as Rolfe left the shop he warned the injured worker: "I'm coming back at six o'clock to ****ing kill you'."

Rolfe, 30, of no fixed address, was arrested a month later and a knife dropped out of his sleeve when he was searched.

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He pleaded guilty to robbery and having a bladed article.

The court heard Rolfe has a criminal record and has served prison sentences in the past for robberies.

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Judge Julie Clemitson said Rolfe poses "a risk to other people" and sentenced him to four years behind bars with a two year extended licence period.

The judge told him: "He was a security guard carrying out his job, which requires him to work with members of the public and was assaulted in the course of those duties.

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"You went to considerable effort and considerable violence just to steal a pack of lager."

Matthew Hopkins, defending, said the robbery was unplanned and added: "This was shoplifting which escalated when he was challenged.

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"It was an impulsive decision to use violence after he was challenged."

Mr Hopkins said Rolfe "struggles to control his emotions" and turned to alcohol and drugs to cope.