Man jailed for stabbing security guard with needle - Bishop's Stortford

07/09/2015

A thief stabbed a brave security guard in the arm with a hyperdermic needle telling him he had HIV.

Drug addict Karl Willson, aged 32, attacked Jhan Cely when he chased and caught him in Bishop's Stortford. Although Willson did not have the virus, Mr Cely has had to undergo treatment in case the needle that was used was infected, St Albans Crown Court heard today, Monday, 07 September 2015.

Prosecutor Stephen Mather said that on Tuesday, 26 May this year Willson snatched £359.31p from a till at Aldi in Bishop's Stortford. He was arrested and bailed. On Sunday, 31 May, at around half past six in the evening, he snatched £400 from the till at Tesco Express in South Street. A woman cashier caught her finger in the till and, as Willson fled, Mr Cely gave chase towards North Street, stopping him by a gate. Mr Mather said: "The defendant had a hyperdermic syringe in his mouth. He was saying: 'Let me go. I have HIV and stabbed Mr Cely."

Willson was arrested for a second time and told the police he had been a long term crack and heroin user since the age of 17. He said he was spending £40 a day on drugs and owed money to dealers.

Although both Willson and Mr Cely tested negative for HIV, the security guard will have to take anti viral drugs for 3 to 6 months in case the needle was infected, said the prosecutor.

Willson, of Dunmow Road, Bishop's Stortford, appeared for sentence having pleaded guilty to two charges of theft and one of causing actual bodily harm (ABH).

Dan Hart, defending, said that Willson had not offended between 2009 and 2014 when he was in a relationship, but when that ended he had "fallen back on Class A drugs." He said: "He felt lonely and isolated and at the time of these offences said he was in a 'drug-induced' haze. He is regretful and remorseful and is adamant that the needle he used was sterile." Since being remanded in Bedford prison, he had been drug-free, said Mr Hart.

Judge Stephen Warner told Willson: "You were chased by a member of staff who showed great courage and persistence. You were in possession of a hyperdermic syringe, said you were HIV, and used it to stab him. The fear and distress that you caused him (Mr Cely) can only be imagined. You do not have HIV, but he had to undergo very unpleasant treatment to deal with the potential consequences of your actions ."

He jailed him for a total of 25 months.

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