ALFRETON: Heroic trio bring career criminal to justice

Pictured is Karl Ward, 29, of High Street, South Normanton, who  was convicted of common assault and theft.
Pictured is Karl Ward, 29, of High Street, South Normanton, who was convicted of common assault and theft.

A bungling thief was chased down by brave passers-by after running from Tesco’s Alfreton store with two TVs under his arms.

Derby Crown Court heard on Thursday, September 5, during sentencing how Karl Ward was pursued from the store by employee Kathleen Phillips who lost track of him before customer Colin Butler and a builder stepped in and Mr Butler restrained the defendant.

Sarah Lloyd, prosecuting, said Ward headbutted customer Mr Butler before he restrained Ward.

Tesco recovered the two televisions, which were worth a total of £368, the court heard.

Ward, 29, of High Street, South Normanton, was convicted of common assault and theft in May before sentencing.

He also pleaded guilty to the theft of a gold chain from a Chesterfield jeweller’s, theft of a drill in Somercotes, theft of a TV from a South Normanton shop and an attempted fraud at a tailor’s in Alfreton. He had also previously been given a community order for thefts from jewellery shops.

Chris Lacey, defending, described Ward as “a fairly hopeless” offender but said he had “enormous nuisance value” and had been struggling with a drug debt. Judge Jonathan Gosling said being an inept career criminal was no mitigation. He sentenced Ward to 21 months in prison and ordered a £400 reward be paid to Mr Butler.