A former security guard stole from his old employer to pay his cousin s drug debt. Matthew Andrew Harry, 32, took a key to B&M Bargains in Regent Street, Wrexham, from a former colleague s handbag and stole 1,500 from the safe on July 23. He told police he used the key to enter, disabled the alarm and switched off the store s CCTV system and took the money from the safe before leaving to pay a man who had given him until 7pm that day to pay him.
Rhian Jackson, prosecuting at Wrexham Magistrates Court yesterday, said supervisor Bethany Brooks had locked up at 5.45pm and had gone to Lord Street to wait for a bus home
Harry, of Cunliffe Street in Wrexham, was working as a security guard there and invited Miss Brooks to his office for a cup of tea. He asked Miss Brooks to get some milk from a nearby shop and, when she went to pick up her bag, told her to leave it there. Miss Brooks had no concerns about leaving it with him, Miss Jackson said, and returned shortly afterwards.
When she went to work the next morning, two colleagues asked her what she had done with the previous day s takings as they were not there. Miss Brooks then found her keys had been stolen and it emerged the alarm had been deactivated at 6.40pm and reactivated 10 minutes later. Wrexham Council CCTV cameras showed Harry leaving the bus station and going to Regent Street before disappearing off camera and making the return journey and arriving at 6.53pm.
Harry was later arrested and became upset when interviewed, and told officers a man had threatened him regarding his cousin s debt. He was being pursued for the money as the cousin had gone into hiding and told police he was in genuine fear that he would be harmed. Miss Jackson added Harry told officers that he had reported the matter, but no action had been taken.
He had previously paid 1,000 and was given until 7pm on the day of the theft to pay more, and told police he felt as if he had no other option. Harry claimed the theft was not planned, but he noticed the keys and saw the opportunity to take them, Miss Jackson said. After the theft he handed the money to the man who had been threatening him and threw the key down a drain somewhere in Rhos.
Magistrates heard Harry had seven convictions for 23 offences, which included dishonesty, but had not been in trouble since 2005. Probation officer Andrew Connah said Harry took full responsibility for his offence and did not seek to minimise it in any way. If Harry had the opportunity to apologise to Miss Brooks he would do, but could not face her because he was ashamed of his behaviour.
Magistrates heard Harry had lost his job, but planned to study music and sound management at university in September. Harry pleaded guilty at the hearing to burglary. Ceri Lewis, defending, added Harry had fully admitted the burglary and wanted to apologise to all concerned.
Incidents had been reported to police, she added, and a statement had not been completed because an officer had been on leave. But there was an ongoing investigation and a statement relating to seven matters including threats and assaults was set to be formalised. The burglary was an opportunistic matter after Harry had again been threatened with violence.
Magistrates made a community order for 12 months with 300 hours of unpaid work. Magistrates chairman Roy Dolan told Harry that was the maximum amount of hours allowed and his credit for an early guilty plea was that he was not being sent to custody . You re a very lucky man here today, he added.
He must pay 1,684.62 to B&M Bargains, 85 in prosecution costs and the same amount as a surcharge.
A man today said a security officer who saved his life will always be a hero to his family. Alan Tait was visiting Aberdeen from Orkney and was spending time in the Union Square shopping mall until it was time for the ferry home. The 50-year-old suddenly felt dizzy and dropped to the ground he had suffered a heart attack.
Security guard Shaun Gibb received a call to assist a shopper who had taken ill . He quickly realised what was happening and started to administer CPR. Due to his quick thinking Alan, whose heart stopped for five minutes, is making a full recovery
Alan, who was taken to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, today praised Shaun for saving his life. He said: I am so grateful to him . He will always be a hero to my family .
When I woke up, I was being told by someone to lie still because I was trying to sit up.
I remember seeing someone opposite me looking rather flush as well.
I understand he d given me CPR . I believe I was dead for five minutes and was blue. Alan has been in hospital recovering since the incident on Sunday and was expected to go home today. He said: I cannot thank everyone who has helped me enough . The ambulance crew and staff at the hospital have been fantastic.
I had a stent put in and I am due to go home I will be glad to see my family.
Alan added: CPR training should be compulsory for everyone . It really makes the difference between life and death . If he had not been so quick and didn t know what I would not be here today . I will be forever grateful to him. Shaun had just arrived for his shift when a call came in to assist a colleague .
He added: When I arrived on the scene a shopper, Alan Tait, was on the ground and my colleague was on the phone to the ambulance I felt for a pulse and realised I needed to start CPR immediately.
Finally, Alan came round with a gasp of air and I explained what happened as he was quite confused I reassured him until the ambulance arrived.
It s great to have such a good outcome and I hope Alan makes a full recovery. Shaun also praised the rest of the staff at the city centre shopping centre. He said: I wouldn t say it was just me, the whole Union Square team was behind me.
Ryan Manson, general manager of Union Square, said: We are happy to hear the customer is on his way to recovering from the incident and commend our security team for their quick thinking, professionalism and unwavering motivation to care for our customers under any circumstance.
Our security team recently earned the British Security Industry Associations National Security Personnel Award for Best Team which without a doubt was well deserved.
Let s all learn skills to be real livesavers , Page 18
Israel has installed security cameras at a contested shrine in Jerusalem after the introduction of metal detectors sparked a violent backlash. Clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinians have killed six people over the weekend in the highest escalation of violence for two years. Palestinians are accusing Israel of trying to take control of the holy site – known to Muslims as Haram al Sharif and to Jews as Temple Mount – after authorities installed metal detectors at its door. The security measures were put forward by Israel after Arab gunmen opened fire from inside the shrine, killing two police officers.
Image: Security cameras installed at the al Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem
Israeli officials have said they are open to adopting alternative security measures in order to reduce tensions, but have warned they will not remove the metal detectors. Israeli minister for regional development Tzachi Hanegbi told Army Radio the detectors “will remain”. “The murderers will never tell us how to search the murderers,” he said. “If they do not want to enter the mosque, then let them not enter the mosque.”
On Friday, several thousand Palestinians clashed with Israeli security forces in the West Bank and Jerusalem.
Image: A Palestinian protester moves a burning tyre as he takes cover during clashes
Three Palestinians were killed and dozens of others were wounded after protesters burned tyres and threw stones and firecrackers . Israeli troops responded with live rounds, rubber bullets and tear gas. Late on Friday night, a 20-year-old Palestinian identified as Omar al Abed jumped over the fence of the Halamish settlement and fatally stabbed a man and his two sons as they celebrated a newborn. An Israeli officer said: “This has nothing to do with metal detectors . There is no justification for murdering a grandfather at a party to celebrate the birth of his new grandson.” Israel has repeatedly accused the Palestinian Authority and President Mahmoud Abbas of permitting anti-Israeli incitement in the their discourse. Mr Abbas announced he would “freeze” ties with Israel “on all levels” until the new security measures were removed.