A THIEF who threatened to stab a shopkeeper with a needle topped 90 mph as he fled police through a 30 mph residential part of York.

York Crown Court heard that drug user Daniel Pullman terrified the shop manager by threatening to stab them with a hypodermic needle, said Jazmine Lee, prosecuting.

The manager later told police: “That needle could have been anywhere, it could have had anything on it. It was incredibly scary.”

The barrister said the threat came as Pullman carried out a series of raids on local stores, including repeatedly targeting one from which he had been barred by court order.

Today the 31-year-old from Rowntree Avenue, Clifton is serving two years in jail.

He has also been banned from driving for three and a half years and ordered to take an extended driving test before driving alone again.

Pullman pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, driving without insurance or a licence, five shop thefts and breaching a suspended prison sentence imposed on July 29 for several shop thefts with conditions including a bar on him entering the Co-op in Paragon Street, York.

He pleaded guilty to assaulting the store manager on the basis he only threatened him and didn’t produce a needle.

Ms Lee said Pullman led police on a 90mph chase from Blossom Street to Sim Balk Lane, where he crashed and abandoned the motorbike on April 6.

He ran into York College. A police officer who pursued him on foot was injured.

On August 23, he stole £276 of chocolate bars from the Co-op in East Parade. On August 29 and twice on August 30, he stole chocolates and sweets from the Co-op in Paragon Street.

On September 18, the store manager chased him as he stole six bottles of Jack Daniels from the Food Warehouse on Foss Islands Road and was threatened.

For Pullman, Fiona Clancy said he had had a difficult childhood and had started using drugs at 13. He had been released from a previous jail term in March.