A UNIVERSITY student tried to steal more than £100 worth of groceries and booze as part of a ‘trolley dash’ dare.
Calvin Jones, 21, of Pooltown Road, Ellesmere Port, was challenged by his friends to carry out the prank at the town’s Sainsbury’s supermarket in return for £40.
He failed in his attempts to flee the store and left security officer Kevin Cotton with injuries to his face and arm following a struggle at the front entrance.
Jones, who is studying for a PhD in music in Brighton, was handed a 12-month community order after pleading guilty to theft and assault when he appeared at Chester, Ellesmere Port and Neston Magistrates Court.
He must carry out 250 hours of unpaid work and pay £300 in compensation to Mr Cotton and costs of £85.
Prosecuting Sue Gibson, said Jones had come back from university to visit his mother when he committed the offences on April 21.
She said: “His friends had dared him to do a trolley dash and said they would give him £40 if he did it.
“He said he only had about £3 on him when he went into the store.”
Mr Cotton was standing at the front entrance at about 2.50pm when he saw Jones running toward him at speed with a trolley containing £114.56 of groceries and alcoholic drinks.
He noticed the goods were not in carrier bags so asked Jones if he had a receipt. Jones said he had left it at the kiosk inside the store and went off to speak to staff before returning to Mr Cotton and telling him he didn’t have one.
As Cotton contacted the store manager, Jones pushed him and started to run toward the front door.
Cotton attempted to restrain Jones by putting his arms around him, but during the struggle he fell to the ground and banged his head, sustaining a one-inch cut to his cheekbone as well as a sprained and swollen wrist.
Peter Barnett, defending, said Jones had ‘panicked’ but did not ‘thrash around’ in a bid to escape the store.
He said: “He fully accepts responsibility, he agreed to go along with the said prank. When the security officer had his arms around him they effectively both fell over.”