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Drug user causing terror in Asda Thurmaston was Tasered by police


A drug user who was Tasered by police for causing terror in a supermarket has been given a 12-month community order.

Sean Richard Palmer (25) threatened to hit people with wine bottles in the aisles of Asda, in Thurmaston.

He leapt on to counters, shouting and causing chaos. The store was evacuated, Leicester Crown Court was told.

Police with riot shields arrived and officers used pepper spray and a 50,000-volt stun gun to incapacitate Palmer, who was high on MCAT – mephedrone – and in a state of distress.

Palmer, of Clayton Drive, Thurmaston, had also caused a similar drug-fuelled disturbance days earlier in Birstall.

Victoria Rose, prosecuting, said the first sign anything was wrong in Asda was at 3.30pm on August 16, when Palmer wandered around saying: "They're waiting outside. They're after me."

Miss Rose said: "The store manager tried to calm him by talking to him."

She said Palmer picked up two bottles of wine and said he was going to throw the bottles at customers and staff.

She said he jumped on the restaurant counter, then behind it, and then back, continuing to make threats with the bottles.

Members of the public were ushered out of the store.

Palmer stood on a conveyor belt, smashed one of the bottles and kept hold of the jagged neck, shouting threats.

Ms Rose said: "Police had riot shields to protect themselves and eventually were able to detain him."

In interview, Palmer had little recollection of his actions, saying he had taken drugs.

He admitted causing an affray at Asda and also threatening behaviour, assaulting a police officer and having an offensive weapon, a garden fork, in a public place, on August 5.

On that date, Palmer began knocking on doors in Ashmead Crescent, Birstall, at 7.30am, holding the fork.

He appeared frightened and claimed he had the fork because people were after him.

Miss Rose said: "He started to run around saying he didn't trust the residents and people 'had it in' for him."

An officer spoke to him in Wanlip Lane. Palmer initially calmed down but suddenly announced the officer was not a real policeman and punched him in the face and fled.

He was chased to a nearby house, where he hammered on the window, scaring a mother indoors with children.

CS spray was used to detain him.

In interview, he claimed he was being pursued by a group with a hammer and a pitchfork.

Palmer had a previous conviction for possessing cocaine and cannabis.

Edward Barr, mitigating, said: "Until he was 23, he led a blameless life.

"Then there was a significant downturn of events. It's been a bad two years for him."

Palmer, who had mental health difficulties, was affected by the death of his grandmother and a friend who was addicted to drugs and killed himself.

Mr Barr said: "He was using the drug MCAT, which may explain but not excuse his behaviour in Asda and Birstall.

"He's spent the past seven weeks in custody, which has been a salutary lesson and he doesn't want to repeat the experience. He wants to turn a corner."

Palmer was given a 12-month community order with supervision.

Judge Sylvia De Bertodano said: "The behaviour was serious. Police officers shouldn't be treated in that way, nor members of the public.

"I know about mental health issues you've been suffering from.

"A community order will give you some support to get back on track."

Drug user   causing terror in  Asda Thurmaston was Tasered by police

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