Thief jailed after threatening to stab Frankie and Benny’s waitress with syringe

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A THIEF has been jailed after threatening to stab a teenage waitress with a needle.

Thomas Brown, known as Tommy, brought his hand down in a stabbing motion and claimed he had a syringe, after being confronted at Frankie and Benny’s in Sunderland.

He also told the terrified 18-year-old he would “bottle” her, before leaving the restaurant in High Street West with three bottles of coffee flavouring, worth £15.

Sunderland Magistrates’ Court heard that Brown, 23, of no fixed address, had already tried to steal a sandwich and smashed a shop door at a newsagent’s in the city centre on August 5.

He admitted stealing a sandwich, worth £1.59, from Premier Stores in Borough Road, damaging a door there valued at £50, stealing coffee syrup from Frankie and Benny’s and assault.

Prosecutor Clare Irving, said: “The defendant went into the store at about 5.10pm.

“He selected a sandwich, put it down his trousers, selected two soft drinks and offered to pay for them.

“He was challenged and removed the sandwich from his trousers and left the store.

“Later that day, the owner had left the shop and locked the door.

“He was at the back of the store when he heard two loud bangs and came back to find two window panes had been broken.

“He checked his CCTV and realised it was the same male.”

At about 9.35pm, Brown went into Frankie and Benny’s and tried to push past the waitress to get to the bar.

But he became violent and abusive when she challenged him.

Ms Irving said: “He clenched his fist and made a downwards stabbing motion and said he had a needle and he was going to stab her.

“He was making a downwards stabbing motion against her right arm.

“She remained where she was and he said he was going to bottle her.”

Brown, who sat with his eyes closed throughout the hearing, told police the sandwich had fallen down his top while he was “messing about” and he could not remember being in Frankie and Benny’s.

The court heard that Brown was a prolific offender, with 41 previous convictions for theft.

Peter Thubron, defending, asked magistrates to spare Brown jail so he could get help for his alcohol addiction.

“He has an alcohol problem, there is no getting away from that and unless that is sorted out, you are going to be seeing a lot more of him,” he said.

Magistrates ordered Brown serve a 13-week prison sentence.