Shoplifter smashed out of locked petrol station using head after attacking staff

A homeless drug addict smashed his way out of a petrol station using his head after he was locked inside by frightened staff.

Gary Wray, 36, made the desperate escape bid after charging at two BP workers armed with uncapped syringes.

They had been trying to stop him shoplifting at the station in Hedon Road on July 19 2020, HullLive reports.

Prosecuting, Nigel Clive told Hull Crown Court that Way entered the garage three times on the same day to steal around £50 of cheese and meat from the refrigerators.

A staff member locked him in the second time, upon which he was threatened by Way with two uncapped syringes and said "open the door or I'll stab you" before fleeing the scene on a "ladies' pink bike".

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Shockingly, Way returned to steal again at around 8.20pm and the same staff member and his manager then both sealed Way in, before he turned on them both in an aggressive attack.

"The defendant tried to punch [the manager] and it didn't connect, but the defendant then elbowed him in the ribs to try and get that complainant to let go, which he did," said Mr Clive.

"He then again produced a needle from his jacket pocket and took the cap off it, exposing the point and then walked towards [the manager] with the needle in a threatening manner and was held to his right side and [the manager] thought he was going to be stabbed as the defendant lunged towards his chest area and tried to stab him with it, but fortunately the complainant was able to move to one side."

Way tried to make another run for it, but all three men fell to the floor and Way then dropped the syringe but charged at the door eleven times trying to shove his way out with his head and chest, and managed to break free by shattering the glass.

The court heard a month earlier Wray was staying at Dock House hostel and smashed up a staff member's car after his bike went missing and then assaulted the two police officers that came to arrest him.

He spat in a PC's face during the coronavirus pandemic upon arrest and then tried to punch another officer three times whilst in the Clough Road cells.

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Way then went on to steal the two bikes worth £170 and £180 on June 25, and then threatened a woman who recognised and stopped him two days later to ask for her son's stolen bike back.

"He said that he liked cutting himself and other people and then began making threats that he would burn her house down and smash up her and her husband's cars and went on to make threats that he would kill her husband and there were other verbal threats made to [the victim] who backed away and went home," Mr Clive told the court.

"In her victim personal statement, she said that this had left her feeling scared and cautious to leave her house and said 'we are constantly making sure that the doors are locked when we are in'."

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Wray was caught by the police on the night of the petrol station incident when officers also found heroin wraps on him upon arrest.

In Way's defence, Richard Thompson said that the defendant had been released from prison on March 20 last year and was left homeless, without any money or medication for his mental health problems.

As a result, Mr Thompson said he went on to steal to feed himself and fund his heroin habit and that the lack of medication made him behave erratically.

Mr Thompson said that Way is now on medication after being remanded in custody ahead of his trial and is now in a better frame of mind, off drugs and was very "remorseful" for his actions.

It was heard that he had 52 convictions for 144 offences on his record.

Judge David Tremberg put in place an indefinite restraining order to prohibit Way from contacting his three victims and sentenced him to three years behind bars.

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