A WREXHAM shoplifter has been jailed for eight months after assaulting and racially abusing police officers.

Joshua Parker, of Garner Road, appeared at Wrexham Magistrates Court on Wednesday for sentence.

The 34-year-old, who confirmed his details via a sign language interpreter, had been convicted of numerous offences, including; assaults against police officers, thefts from Boots, Tesco and Co-op, criminal damage of a police cell and racially aggravated harassment.

Rhian Jackson, prosecuting, told the court several of Parker's offences took place in November last year.

On November 12, he entered Tesco in Wrexham and left the store with three bottles of whiskey hidden down his trousers.

He then returned to the store a few days later and took more alcohol, as well as razor blades - but this time he was stopped and the items were recovered.

During the same week, he also entered Boots at Eagles Meadow and went "straight to the razor blades," before taking electronic tags off £123 worth of the items and leaving the store without making payment.

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The blades were recovered, but owing to the removed tags they were damaged.

Parker was arrested and en-route to custody in Llay he spat inside the police vehicle.

When he was interviewed, he made several threats to officers, including that he'd "like to smash them out," and that he wished he had covid and that he'd coughed in their faces.

While he was in custody, Parker also made insulting gestures at an officer of mixed Indian and British heritage, before spitting on the glass of the cell door and writing a racial slur in it.

In a statement read to the court, the officer said he was "very proud" of his mixed heritage and that he joined North Wales Police to help people.

He said the defendant's behaviour left him feeling saddened and intimidated.

Further offences were committed by the defendant this year - beginning with a theft at the Co-op in Wrexham.

The defendant entered the store on April 15 and made off with more than £60 worth of laundry items.

He repeated the offence a few days later, with the addition of jars of coffee, to the value of more than £37.

In June, officers had cause to speak to him as he'd failed to appear in court.
He refused to sit in a marked police vehicle and "lashed out" when the officers tried to guide him.

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Eventually he was handcuffed and taken to a custody facility - but on the way he spat at and headbutted the window of the vehicle cell.

During the booking-in process at the station, he demanded to be allowed to go home and to smoke a cigarette.

When he was returned to his cell he actively resisted and spat in the faces of two officers.

Ms Jackson said the defendant has an "extensive" record, encompassing 30 convictions for 62 offences.

Stephen Edwards, defending, told the court his client is a profoundly deaf man who has had "sad and challenging circumstances in life."

From the age of five to 17, Mr Edwards explained, the defendant stayed at a specialist boarding school where he became proficient in sign language.

But to a certain extent, his links to his home area of Wrexham and his family diminished.

When he returned to the town, he qualified for a "generous" level of benefits due to his disability.

Mr Edwards said: "Unfortunately, word got around in the area that he was a young man with money in his pocket and there's no doubt that he has been targeted by unscrupulous drug users seeking to befriend him and get at his money to buy drugs."

He added his client had also fallen into taking drugs, with him turning to stealing to pay for the habit.

In total, across all of the offences, the court sentenced Parker to eight months in jail - to be served immediately.


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