Daniel Yates targeted the worker as he made a drop-off at the store which he had been plaguing for months with his nuisance behaviour.
A man who sprayed a delivery driver with a fire extinguisher during a robbery bid has expressed regret, saying he wishes he could “turn the clock back”.
Daniel Yates, 33, targeted the worker while stealing a ham and cheese sandwich from a convenience store in Prescot. Yates, who had been causing trouble at the shop for months, stole the sandwich and a keyring worth £4.68. He then attacked a delivery driver dropping off newspapers, demanding his keys and spraying him with a fire extinguisher. The driver managed to fight back with a metal bar and sprayed Yates with the extinguisher before escaping.
The court watched CCTV of the crime and heard that Yates has 42 past crimes. Suzanne Payne, defending, said: “Without wishing to minimise the offence, it is quite short lived. It is 74 seconds. The defendant is remorseful. He has told me that if he could turn the clock back then he would.
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“He would like to apologise to the driver for his behaviour. At that time, he was in quite a spiral. He had come out of prison, he had no work. He had been a self-employed gardener, and he had his own business. After coming out of custody in May 2023, he broke both of his ankles following a fall. He started to steal in order to provide for himself.”
“In relation to this incident, he says he does not remember it. He was under the influence of drugs and alcohol, at rock bottom really. He does intend to change. He tells me that, following his release from custody, he did find it difficult to reintegrate into society. The relationship with the mother of his children had broken down, and he struggled with that. His relationship with his parents had broken down.
“He had nowhere to go. He, at the time of this offence, was in a hostel, struggling and reverting to what he knew – to take more drugs. Since his remand, he has not had access to drugs or alcohol. He is starting to feel much better.
“He tells me that, since his remand, he has been in contact with his old boss, who has started up his own landscaping business. He says he would offer work to him, so that he can be the dad who was a hard working gardener before he started to spiral into drugs and alcohol.”
Yates confessed to assault with intent to rob and theft. Yates linked up via video from HMP Altcourse, and was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison. Sentencing him, Recorder Mark Ainsworth remarked: “You have a long list of previous convictions for different types of offences. It must have been, frankly, terrifying. It is clear that you were having difficulties finding work. That led to financial difficulties.”
“You were also having difficulties with substance abuse. I appreciate that you have been in prison on a number of occasions in recent years. At some point, you will have to draw a line and start again. I hope that, when you are released from this sentence of imprisonment, that can occur.”