Shoplifter pulled out Morrisons manager’s teeth after being confronted for stealing alcohol


Ben Stead, 28, assaulted the store manager when he tried to stop him escaping with a trolley full of alcohol.

Jimmy Nsubuga

Wed, 11 January 2023 at 6:25 pm GMT

Ben Stead, 28, assaulted store manager Craig Thomas at a Morrisons branch in South Wales. (Wales News)
Ben Stead, 28, assaulted a Morrisons store manager at a branch in South Wales. (Wales News)

A shoplifter reached into a Morrisons manager’s mouth and pulled out his two front teeth when he was confronted over stealing alcohol.

Ben Stead, 28, assaulted store manager Craig Thomas after he tried to stop him escaping the branch in Ebbw Vale, South Wales, with alcohol worth £325.

Stead put his fingers into Mr Thomas’ mouth and yanked out his teeth in fury, Cardiff Crown Court heard.

He had tried to walk out of the supermarket pushing a trolley with unpaid for alcohol in December 2021.

The incident happened at a Morrisons supermarket in Ebbw Vale, South Wales. (Wales News)
The incident happened at a Morrisons supermarket in Ebbw Vale, South Wales. (Wales News)

Prosecutor Peter Donnison said Stead told Mr Thomas: “Come near me and I’ll stab you.”

Mr Donnison added: “He then became violent and there was a physical struggle between them.

“While struggling on the floor, Stead bent his fingers right back and then proceeded to put his hand into his mouth and he pulled at his teeth causing them to break.

“His front facing teeth were pulled out.

“He also put his finger into Mr Thomas’ eye and applied pressure. Mr Thomas described the pain as being excruciating.”

As well as losing his teeth, Mr Thomas suffered a broken finger and was bleeding from the ear and mouth, with fellow shopworkers stepping in to help.

Mr Thomas, who the judge praised for his bravery, has since left his job, causing him “a significant decrease in salary”, the court heard.

Stead, of Rhymney, Caerphilly, pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm and theft.

He was jailed for two years and eight months at Cardiff Crown Court.

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