Mum cries after slashing Next workers who stopped her from stealing baby clothes

A mother stabbed two security guards as they tried to stop her from stealing children’s clothes from a Next store in Liverpool.

Claire Newman cut David Bailey with a Stanley knife in the chain’s New Mersey Shopping Park store, leaving him with 20 stitches in his arm. Mr Bailey’s colleague Ian Grogan was also injured by Newman after stabbing his hand with the blade.

The 34-year-old cried today as a judge jailed her for the March 9 bombings and a pair of robberies in which she stole designer handbags from Selfridges in Manchester and also assaulted a security agent.

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Jonathan Duffy, prosecuting, said Mr Bailey and Mr Grogan spotted Newman stealing baby clothes from the Speke store and managed to stop him from getting away. The couple had no intention of calling the police and wanted to take a picture of Newman so she could be banned from the store. However, after initially following them, Newman became aggressive and agitated.

Mr Duffy said: “She screamed that she was going to stab David Bailey and it turned out she had a Stanley knife on her and she stabbed Mr Bailey, causing a nasty wound in his fore- arms.” Newman also scratched Mr Bailey’s jaw and bit his other arm. In the scuffle, she also grabbed Mr. Grogan with the knife.

Newman later admitted to hurting Mr. Bailey with intent and hurting Mr. Grogan without intent. She also pleaded guilty to theft and possession of a bladed item. Mr. Bailey needed 20 stitches in his arm and Mr. Grogan needed eight stitches in his hand.

Both men said the incident made them and their colleagues more nervous about doing their jobs. Newman was also convicted today of crimes committed in Manchester six weeks before the Next attacks. She stole designer handbags from Selfridges in Manchester on February 1 and 7 this year. Caught by staff a second time, she then assaulted a security guard who was trying to escort her off the premises.

Kate Morley, defending, said Newman was addicted to Class A drugs and started stealing in an attempt to settle his debts. Ms Morley said Newman, a mother of three, had just one conviction when she was 16 and then went on to go 18 years of her life without offence.

She had a miscarriage in 2016 and her partner later committed suicide. She then became addicted to drugs and, while she was able to cure her addiction, the death of her father a few years later caused her to relapse and try heroin for the first time.

Faced with footage of what she had done to Mr Bailey and Mr Grogan, Ms Morley said: ‘She is sickened, disgusted and deeply distressed by the person on this screen. She doesn’t recognize herself. She added: “The reason she wore that blade was to remove tags from clothes. It wasn’t meant to be used as a weapon – but of course when you carry weapons it’s a choice and they could be used in that way.

The judge, Denis Watson, QC, said that while Newman may not have drawn the blade with the intention of hurting someone with it, it was clear that by the time it cut Mr Bailey , she knew how she used it. Condemning her, he said: “Although I was told that the reason you wore the blade was to remove the security tags, it was there. You threatened to stab Mr. Bailey with the Stanley knife, then you carried out that threat. He continued, “I cannot accept the submission that you castigated savagely, you castigated deliberately.”

Newman, from HMP Styal, was jailed for six years and five months.