A 20-YEAR-OLD man stole from Tesco before he assaulted the store manager who challenged him, a court heard. 

Koa Hawkes, of Lyttelton Road, Droitwich and formerly of Barbourne Road, Worcester, was fined when he appeared at Worcester Magistrates Court on Thursday (November 9). 

Eleanor Peart, prosecuting, said Hawkes came to the staff's attention as he walked around the Tesco Express in Foregate Street selecting items on Friday, July 14.

Miss Peart said Hawkes stole two cans of Jack Daniels and a coke, all worth £4.70, but returned the items when he was challenged as he tried to leave the store without paying. 

The prosecutor said Hawkes gave verbal abuse to a store manager. 

Worcester News: COURT: Koa Hawkes leaving Worcester Magistrates CourtCOURT: Koa Hawkes leaving Worcester Magistrates Court (Image: Sam Greenway/Newsquest)

"Once outside he lunged at him with two hands, causing him (the store manager) to stumble," Miss Peart said. 

"PC Waite was flagged down."

In police interview, Hawkes said he stole items as he wanted something to drink and admitted pushing the shop manager. 

The prosecutor said the defendant's previous convictions, including robbery in 2019, aggravated the offence. 

And further aggravating it was the assault being to someone at their place of work, Miss Peart told magistrates. 

Hawkes, who defended himself, admitted theft from a shop and assault by beating. 

Worcester News: STORE: Tesco Express, Foregate StreetSTORE: Tesco Express, Foregate Street (Image: Google Maps)

He explained to magistrates, through a letter, that he had recently been travelling abroad where he received help for his issues. 

Hawkes told the magistrates: "I'm really sorry. I have had a long time to think about it."

The chairman asked if he was now in a better place in his life, the defendant replying: "Yes, definitely."

Simon Freebairn, chairman of the magistrates bench, said they were encouraged that Hawkes wanted to help himself adding: "The courts are here to help people as much as punish them". 

Hawkes was fined £120 and ordered to pay costs of £135 and victim surcharge of £48. 

The defendant's request for the total amount of £303 to be deducted from his benefits was granted by magistrates.