Shoplifter's boyfriend jailed for beating Kettering store staff

Levoy Berry assaulted three staff at three different stores when they tried to stop his then-girlfriend shoplifting

By Phoebe Radford
Thursday, 13th February 2020, 6:00 am

A man who assaulted staff that challenged his then-girlfriend when she shoplifted has been jailed for 24 weeks.

Levoy Berry, 38, of Hodge Way, Kettering, was jailed for 20 weeks for each for three separate assaults of shop staff and four weeks for fraud.

Berry appeared via video link at Northampton Magistrates’ Court on Monday, February 10.

Levoy Berry assaulted shop staff who tried to apprehend his then-girlfriend from shoplifting

The court heard from prosecutor Stella Moses that on January 16, Berry and a female went to Tesco Express in London Road, Kettering.

Berry waited outside while the female went into the shop. She ran out of the shop without paying for the items, which prompted a security guard, Mr Tony Succo to run after the pair shouting: “Give me back the stuff”.

Ms Moses said Mr Succo managed to get hold of the female, at which point Berry swore at him, threatened to kill him and said: "I’ll smash this bottle in your face.”

Berry then grabbed Mr Succo’s arm and pushed him off, to which the Tesco security guard said: “Don’t do that.”

Berry then said to Mr Succo to not hurt his girlfriend and punched him in the head repeatedly.

Ms Moses said Mr Succo estimates he was hit in the head between six to 10 times and was left with grazing, bruises and a bloody nose.

The other assaults happened in a similar way. The court heard that on December 23, 2019, Berry and the female went to Food Warehouse in Northfield Avenue, Kettering, where the woman filled a bag with meat products.

As she left without paying, a staff member asked a delivery driver, Mr Matthew Peniasko, to help him apprehend the woman.

Ms Moses said: “One of the guards asked for the goods back from the female but she refused. She swung the bag and hit him.”

Berry then said: “Come any closer and I will stab you.”

Berry was pulled back by the female as he was punching Mr Peniasko, and he said again: “Come any closer and I will stab you”.

Ms Moses said Berry was stating he had a knife during the encounter.

The other incident, on January 11, was at Lidl, Northfield Avenue, Kettering, when again the female entered the store and left without paying.

Mr Neal Collier approached the couple to get the bags back when he was then pushed and punched.

Mitigating, Berry’s solicitor, Mrs Baljit Garcha, said his offending was due to his drug use and that he had been under the influence of heroin, crack cocaine and alcohol.

She said: “He acted on impulse.”

Asking for a community order and a rehabilitation programme, Mrs Garcha said he was more mature now, had broken up with his girlfriend and realised the effect his offending was having on his mother, who he was living with at the time.

Berry’s solicitor said: “He is telling me he needs help and is asking for that help. He is ready for that help and he’s not been in that mindset before.

“Give him this opportunity to welcome this help.”

Berry had pleaded guilty to three counts of assault by beating on January 27 and was sentenced to 20 weeks for each offence, to be served concurrently.

He was also jailed for four weeks for a count of fraud which related to the use of a stolen credit card.