A shoplifter spat on a door and licked the handle after being caught by staff, leaving one employee “terrified” of catching coronavirus.
Joseph Gannon was spotted by staff hiding packs of Captain Morgan’s and Coke up his jacket, and became aggressive when staff confronted him.
The 31-year-old pulled an employee out of the way as he walked out of Tesco Express on Holburn Street after staff recovered the booze.
As staff managed to force the doors closed behind him, he spat on the glass before licking the handle as horrified staff watched on.
Fiscal depute Felicity Merson told Aberdeen Sheriff Court: “At around 9.50pm on August 12 the accused, who is known to staff, entered the shop.
“One of the two staff members on duty, a 22-year-old female, was of the opinion that the accused was under the influence of drugs, so decided to keep an eye on him.
“He appeared to have noticed this and tutted at her.
“The staff member then opted to monitor him on CCTV instead.
“The accused picked up two four-packs of Captain Morgan’s and Coke, valued at £6.75 each, and concealed them under his jacket.
“The male member of staff, aged 27, approached him as he made his way to the exit. He stopped the accused and took one of the packs from him.
“He told the accused that if he wanted to pay for the items he should go to the tills.
“The accused replied ‘that’s assault’ and continued on his way to the exit.
“When the male member of staff approached him again ear the doors, the accused began shouting and swearing saying he wasn’t stealing. His manner was aggressive.
“The female member of staff went to the sliding glass doors and manually closed them, standing in front of them in an attempt to keep the accused at the locus until police arrived, she having already activated the alarm to summon the police.
“The accused approached her and sharply pulled her arm away, thus allowing him to leave the shop, but not before she had taken the remaining alcohol from him.
“As soon as the accused had exited he turned around and put his foot in the gap between the open door to stop it from being closed.
“Staff forced the door closed and no sooner was it shut than the accused spat at the glass from the outside.
“It appeared that, if the door had not just closed, the spit may have landed on both of them.
“Staff indicated for the accused to leave but instead he bent down to the outside door handle and spat several times on the door handles, proceeding to lick the handles for a couple of seconds.
“The female described it as disgusting and said the doors were covered. The accused then walked away.
“The female member of staff immediately exited the store with disinfectant and cleaned the handle and glass. She spent 15 minutes cleaning.
“She described the incident as having a huge impact on her. She was terrified of catching coronavirus and passing it on to those with whom she lived.
“She found the incident ‘really scary’.”
Gannon pled guilty to charges of shoplifting, assault, and behaving in a threatening or abusive manner over the incident.
He also admitted two further charges of shoplifting over incidents at Lidl on Hutcheon Street on July 30 and August 14.
Sheriff Graham Buchanan ordered Gannon, a prisoner of HMP Grampian, to be jailed for 17 months.