A MAN who waved a 10-inch kitchen knife and claw hammer at supermarket staff during lockdown has been jailed.

James Telfer, of Chiltern Place in Orford, stole frozen meat from Farmfoods in Howley on two separate occasions during lockdown.

On Monday, Liverpool Crown Court heard that the 36-year-old had only been out of prison for one week when he committed the first theft.

Michael Stephenson, prosecuting, said: "He entered the Farmfoods store on School Brown on March 30 with another man at around 8pm.

"When the shop assistants realised the men had stolen frozen meat, they followed the pair out of the store to confront them both.

"One worker asked the men to return the meat in their bag but Telfer pulled out a 10-inch kitchen knife from his waistband and began waving it above his head."

The members of staff ran back into the shop, fearing for their safety.

They reported the incident to their supervisor.

On April 4, Telfer returned to Farmfoods with a different man.

Towards the end of his shift, a shop assistant was stocking the shelves when he saw Telfer enter the shop and put a quantity of frozen meat into his bag.

The manager approached the men but Telfer pulled out a claw hammer from his waistband and waved it at the manager before hitting a wall with it.

Telfer, who has 13 previous convictions for 21 offences was released from prison a week before the first incident for smashing a pub window after the manager refused to lift his ban.

Jade Tufail, defending, said: "He suffers with depression and anxiety and when he was released from prison, the lockdown had started and he did not have access to his medication.

"He spoke about 'losing his head' because of this.

"He is a dad and is thoroughly ashamed of his behaviour."

Sentencing Telfer to 20 months in prison, judge Louise Brandon, said: "There was a degree of premeditation in both of these incidents as you armed yourself with a knife and a hammer.

"You made threats to these workers and swung both weapons around.

"You have previous convictions for violence and disorder and this first incident happened just three week after you received a sentence for smashing a pub window.

"These happened during lockdown, members of staff at these shops are under considerable pressure and to receive threats and fear for their safety is very serious indeed.

"The police do not need to waste their resources on people behaving like you.

"I understand you did not have access to mental health resources but you need to put your drug and alcohol addiction behind you and make something of your life.

"You have a flagrant disregard for lockdown rules and you pose a risk to the public.

"Your offending is increasing in seriousness and the public need to be protected from you."