A 23-YEAR-OLD man who stabbed a foodstore manager in the stomach after trying to steal a jar of coffee has been jailed.

CCTV footage was played at Liverpool Crown Court showing Kyle Paladino stab manager Ben Lee at Farmfoods on Boundary Road.

Emergency services were called to the shop at around 3.45pm on Saturday, October 19, 2019 and Paladino was arrested the following Tuesday in Newton-le-Willows and charged.

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Paladino of Beacon Grove, Blackbrook, had pleaded guilty to wounding with intent, possession of a knife and theft of a jar of coffee.

He was sentenced to four and a half years in prison.

The court heard that it was a "miracle" that the victim did not suffer "a more serious injury" from the stabbing.

Prosecuting, Kate Gaskell, told the court how Mr Lee, who was in his office, saw Paladino on CCTV put a jar of coffee in his bag while he was halfway down an aisle. at the store

He saw Paladino then go to the pizza aisle and then the conveyor belt. He put the pizza down but not the jar of coffee.

Ms Gaskell said: "Mr Lee went down to challenge Paladino and said 'can you take the coffee out of your bag please?'

"(Paladino) said 'I've paid for it, who do you think you are, I've paid for it'.

"He described Paladino as being irate and aggressive.

"He went to usher him out of the store where he became more aggressive."

During the confrontation, which ended outside the door, Mr Lee saw Paladino come towards him and "turned and held his arms out to protect himself and realised Paladino had a knife in his right hand and blood on the bottom of his t-shirt.

Ms Gaskell added: "He noticed Paladino had run away and realised he had been stabbed in the abdomen."

Footage showed Mr Lee clutching his wound as he walked back into the store.

St Helens Star:

A police cordon outside the shop after the stabbing

Ms Gaskell read a victim personal statement which said Mr Lee spent three hours in hospital and was given stitches for a "superficial wound".

These were in place for two weeks and Mr Lee "could not take part in strenuous physical activity for six weeks" and "for the first week I was very sore".

He had to take sick pay at work which he said has "affected my entitlement".

It said Mr Lee recalled being at home with his partner "eating cake" and "felt uneasy seeing a knife".

It added: "I find it difficult to understand how someone could be so violent" over a jar of coffee.

The court heard Paladino has 14 previous convictions including for possession of a knife in a shop in January 2019.

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Judge Sophie McKone sentenced Paladino to four years for the stabbing and an extra six months to be served consecutively for possession of a knife, with no separate penalty for the theft.

She said: "Your casual carrying of a knife and being prepared to use it is extremely worrying.

"It's a miracle that Mr Lee did not suffer from a far more serious injury and it is no doubt lucky that wound has been described as superficial.

"Mr Lee was just doing his job and shouldn't have to face this type of danger in his job and it is through luck that you did not cause him even more serious injury or indeed kill him while he was simply doing his job.

"Significantly you have a previous conviction for carrying a knife in very similar circumstances when you were out shopping."

St Helens Star:

Paladino was jailed at Liverpool Crown Court

Defending, Philip Astbury said Paladino was a "young man" and this was "the first time that he has ever used violence".

He said Paladino "expresses his and regret for his actions" and added he has had a "long standing issue with the misuse of drugs".

He added "facing such a long sentence the defendant will have no option but to tackle his long standing drug problem."