Security guard jailed after using van to deliberately mow down thief

Asda security guard, 27, is jailed for nearly two years after using his van to deliberately mow down habitual shoplifter, 23, in revenge for him stealing £5 bottle of red wine

  • Security guard Stephen Johnson deliberately hit thief Steven Quinn with his van
  • The 27-year-old, from Stockport, claimed the thief stabbed him to justify actions
  • Quinn was held for hours until police discovered Johnson lied about the stabbing
  • At Bolton Crown Court, Stephen Johnson was jailed for one year and 10 months after pleading guilty to dangerous driving and perverting the course of justice 

A supermarket security guard used his van to deliberately mow down a habitual shoplifter in a revenge attack over him stealing a bottle of wine worth just £5.

Stephen Johnson, 27, leapt into his Peugeot Partner vehicle and chased after 23-year old Steven Quinn after the thief managed to get away from him during a pursuit on foot outside an ASDA store.

Johnson caught up with Quinn at a nearby newsagents but then mounted the pavement and clipped him as he and an accomplice leapt for their lives over a set of railings.

Quinn, who has a string of theft convictions, suffered bruising to his legs in the impact.

Following the crash, Johnson tried to frame Quinn for assault by fabricating a statement falsely claiming he had been stabbed eight times during the pursuit.

Quinn, from Bolton, Greater Manchester was held in custody for 16 hours then had to wait a further three months before police established Johnson had been lying.

Security guard Stephen Johnson (pictured) has been jailed after hitting a shoplifter with his van and then lying to investigating officers about being assaulted in a bid to justify his actions

When confronted Johnson told police: ‘I’m gonna lose my badge for this. I’m really annoyed I’m being arrested over some smackhead who’s probably robbed 20,000 other old ladies.’

Quinn said in interview: ‘Alright, I’ve nicked a bottle but he shouldn’t have run me over.’

At Bolton Crown Court, Johnson, from Reddish, Stockport, was jailed for one year and ten months after he admitted dangerous driving and perverting the course of justice.

His not guilty plea to a charge of attempted grievous bodily harm with intent was accepted.

The incident occurred on July 25, in 2018, after Johnson who worked for a private security company had been assigned to patrol ASDA’s Daubhill branch in Bolton. 

Quinn was known as a regular shoplifter in the area and trouble began when he managed to sneak into the store and grab a bottle of red wine from the shelves before fleeing.

Shoplifter Steven Quinn stole a bottle of wine from Asda in St Helens Road, Daubhill, and fled with an accomplice prompting security guard Steven Johnson to pursue him in Peugeot van

Initially Johnson tried to chase after Quinn on foot across the car park but lost him so he returned to the store to get his van, claiming he wanted to get a photograph of the thief.

Moments later Johnson drove his van onto nearby Deane Church Lane where Quinn was with his friend Danny Lee and then veered onto the wrong side of the road before mounting the pavement between a set of metal railings and and a wall.

Mr Robert Hall prosecuting said: ‘He drove the van at some speed around a corner in front of a shop which was open putting other innocent parties at risk. The van’s front nearside bumper and nearside wing mirror impacted Steven Quinn and threw him over the metal railings.

‘The impact resulted in bruising to his left leg and pain as well as damage to the van whilst leaving the mirror panel from its nearside wing mirror at the scene.

‘It was only the good fortune that both Quinn and Lee were near the metal railings and were able to vault the railings that prevented them both being severely injured. The van was driven quite clearly at the two men.

‘Quinn returned to Asda in order to locate the van, using the mirror panel from its nearside wing mirror, take its registration number and report the matter to the police. He even shouted at Johnson that his dangerous driving could have killed him.

At Bolton Crown Court (pictured), 27-year-old Johnson, from Stockport, was jailed for one year and 10 months after pleading guilty to dangerous driving and perverting the course of justice

‘But Johnson, mindful of Quinn threatening to report the dangerous driving to police, chose to fabricate a false allegation of wounding against Quinn and his associate.

‘It may be Johnson hoped that the effect of the false allegation would intimidate Quinn against making his report to the police of the dangerous driving.

‘In furtherance of this fabrication, Johnson inflicted 16 slash wounds upon himself and slashed his jacket and his T-shirt.

‘He then decided to get in first by phoning the police with his fake allegation of wounding. It may be Johnson hoped the effect of his pre-emptive false allegation would distract away from any investigation of his dangerous driving.’

Johnson later said he ‘had no intention of hurting’ Quinn and Lee and said he ‘literally wanted to scare them’.

He claimed he scratched himself with his own fingernails at Bolton police station to make his injuries appear more serious because he was ‘scared, stupid and panicking.’

In mitigation for Johnson, who now works as a sub contractor in the construction industry, defence counsel Ian Metcalfe said: ‘That evening he had a complete meltdown where all clarity of thought and relativity became buried under an avalanche of highly emotional and profoundly stupid actions. 

‘He was working extremely long hours and was contractually supposed to work 12 hour shifts but often worked longer as he needed to be there to organise and supervise others.’

Sentencing Judge Graeme Smith told Johnson: ‘There was a very significant risk of you causing harm to them and they were fortunate to escape.

‘This looks like a deliberate attempt to run down the shoplifter and his associate.

‘As we know Mr Quinn was a habitual shoplifter and was lawfully arrested for theft on this occasion but he was held for longer than he would have been had you not made you not made your allegation against him.’

Johnson was also banned from driving for 12 months which will come into effect when he is freed from jail.

The court heard Quinn assaulted a policeman just three days after the incident. He is currently in jail and due to be released next month.

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