A shoplifting thug who caused people to flee in panic after spraying a substance in a Kettering retail park has lost a bid to reduce his sentence.
Ashley Maparura, from Northampton, was jailed for a year after the terrifying incident at Currys PC World in Northfield Avenue on February 15.
Emergency services rushed to the Belgrave Retail Park in Northfield Avenue at about 3.30pm and it was initially declared a major incident before being downgraded.
Several members of the public could be seen with blankets around their shoulders outside the store at 5pm, and large bottles of a clear substance had been poured on the ground outside the store.
One person who witnessed the emergency response said: “There was a cordon across the whole car park. I’ve never seen so many hi-vis vests in one place.”
A number of people suffered irritation and two people were taken to Kettering General Hospital as a precaution.
Maparura, 29, admitted stealing two Dyson vacuums, assault with intent to resist arrest and possession of an offensive weapon - incapacitant spray - at Northampton Magistrates’ Court last month.
Magistrates jailed him for 26 weeks for assault, 26 weeks for the weapon to run consecutively and 14 weeks for theft to run concurrently (a total of 52 weeks), saying: “[The] fear the defendant created by spraying something when they had no idea what was coming out of the can is unforgiveable.”
The criminal appealed against his sentence and had two of the three sentences cut yesterday (Thursday). His 26-week sentence for the weapon was unchanged because of his previous offending.
His 26-week jail term for assault was cut to 18 weeks and his 14-week sentence for theft was cut to eight weeks.
But canny judge Marcus Tregilvas-Davey made the sentences of 26 weeks, 18 weeks and eight weeks all consecutive - keeping Maparura’s spell behind bars at one year.