Breaking Dorset Poole

A man who stabbed a member of the public who tried to stop him stealing from a shop in Poole has been jailed for 12 years

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Connor James Eric Beckett, aged 23 and of Bowden Road in Poole, was sentenced at Bournemouth Crown Court on Friday 29 January 2021 after being found guilty at an earlier trial at the same court of an offence of inflicting grievous bodily with intent and possessing a bladed article in a public place. He had previously admitted two charges of theft.

His accomplice Jack Thomas Torpey, aged 22 and of no fixed abode, was sentenced to a total of eight months in prison on Wednesday 4 November 2020 after admitting offences of affray and theft.

At around 4.35pm on Monday 10 February 2020 the two defendants entered Sainsbury’s at Pitwines Close and placed a number of bottles of Jack Daniels whiskey in a shopping basket.

They attempted to leave the store without paying for them and were spoken to by staff members.

Beckett became aggressive and punched one of the staff members in the face, knocking them to the floor.
Beckett also fell to the floor and some of the bottles of whiskey smashed. 

One of the staff members went to restrain Torpey as a male member of the public, who was entering the shop, went to assist by attempting to restrain Beckett.

The pair ended up struggling on the floor and Beckett produced a knife from his pocket and was able to get back on his feet.

Torpey shouted at people to get off Beckett and became aggressive toward those trying to detain him.

A wallet belonging to the man who had struggled with Beckett had dropped out of his pocket during the altercation. Beckett picked it up and the man grabbed hold of him to try and get it back.

Beckett managed to free himself and stabbed the man to the left side of his abdomen.

The defendants left the scene, taking a bottle of whiskey and the wallet with them, as the victim collapsed to the floor. Members of the public went to his aid before paramedics arrived.

The victim, aged in his 50s, was taken to hospital for treatment to the stab wound, as well as injuries to his hand and head. He remained in intensive care for a week.

The offenders went on to use his bank cards a number of times that evening and the following day, carrying out successful transactions of more than £40 and also making a number of unsuccessful attempts to pay for items.

The defendants were arrested on Wednesday 12 February 2020 in Poole.

Detective Sergeant Garry Knight, of Bournemouth CID, said: “The violence displayed by Jack Torpey, and particularly Connor Beckett, was shocking and the actions of the shop staff and members of the public at the scene were truly courageous in the face of that. 

“I would like to thank these people not only for the courage they displayed on the day, but also for supporting the investigation and giving evidence in court.

“Thanks to the assistance of these individuals, we were able to bring these men to justice for their crimes.

 “I especially want to praise the victim, who suffered a horrific injury as a result of his heroic attempts to assist the shop staff.”