Hastings man, 47, attacks person after being caught attempting to steal from shop

A Hastings man attacked another person after he was spotted attempting to steal from a shop, police said.
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Police said officers received a report of a theft and an assault having taken place on January 27 at Marks and Spencer in Priory Meadow Shopping Centre.

The suspect was spotted attempting to steal from the shop and when confronted, assaulted the victim causing injury requiring hospital treatment, Sussex Police added.

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A police spokesperson said: “Ryan Etherton, of Godwin Road, Hastings, was identified via the DISC system, a free online app connecting businesses to their local policing teams, where users can share information such as CCTV images to help recognise prolific offenders.


“The 47-year-old was arrested on January 31 and charged with assault of a person causing actual bodily harm (ABH) and theft. He has since pleaded guilty to both offences and is due to be sentenced at Hastings Magistrates’ Court on March 20.”

Police said following the launch of Operation Castle last month, an initiative to tackle theft, shoplifting and anti-social behaviour through foot patrols, enforcement activity, and partnership working, officers have made multiple arrests.

Sussex Police said on February 5, officers conducting plain-clothed patrols in Hastings town centre witnessed suspected thefts from Gregg’s Bakery and Holland and Barret in Queens Road.

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Kay Pawson, 37, of no fixed address, was arrested on suspicion of theft and Aron Croft, 35, of Western Road, St Leonards, was arrested on suspicion of theft and breach of bail conditions. They have both been charged with the offences, police added.

Pawson has been released on unconditional bail ahead of her next appearance at Hastings Magistrates’ Court on February 28, police said.

Police added that Croft pleaded guilty and has been released on conditional bail ahead of sentencing on April 3.