Woman convicted of HIV threat with syringe in Luton

Aysha Glasford made her threat outside Sainsbury's on Dunstable Road
Aysha Glasford made her threat outside Sainsbury's on Dunstable Road

A woman from Luton has been found guilty of threatening to stab a supermarket worker with a syringe while shouting she had HIV.

Aysha Glasford, 30, had told a jury yesterday she threatened the security guard with a biro pen when she was stopped for suspected shoplifting at the Sainsbury’s store in Dunstable Road on March 16.

Giving evidence at Luton Crown Court, she said she would never have stabbed security guard Sayful Islam with the pen and claimed she had AIDS simply to make him back off so she could get away.

But after the trial by jury, she was found guilty of a charge of threatening Mr Islam with a bladed or pointed article.

In his evidence, supermarket security guard Mr Islam said he challenged Glasford on the evening of March 16 as she was leaving Sainsbury’s, because he had seen her on CCTV hiding a bottle of Jack Daniels down her leggings.

The court heard he was at the security guard’s podium with the store’s duty manager that night and a female checkout supervisor, when Glasford and a male made their way towards the exit doors.

He said at the doors, she pushed the trolley up to him and said “There’s your items. I know you are watching us.”

Mr Islam said she went to leave the store and he said to her “I know you have got another item,” which Glasford denied. He said outside the store she became aggressive and said “I have HIV. I will push the syringe into you.”

He went on: “I saw the syringe when she took it out of her right-hand coat pocket. She took it out and showed it to me.”

Mr Islam described how she came towards him with the syringe raised in her hand so that the needle was pointing at him.

He said he felt scared and his manager then told him to leave her. Mr Islam said at one point she started shouting “I have HIV, I am going to stab you!”

Wayne Aitkens, Sainsbury’s duty manager, said: “Sayful believed Miss Glasford was concealing another bottle of something on her,”

He said the security guard had taken hold of the strap of her handbag.

Mr Aitkens then said the man with Glasford told them she had AIDS and she said “Yes, I have got AIDS and I’ve got a needle.”

“Had we not moved back I was worried she may have used the needle. She told us to get back. If we didn’t, that needle would be used to attack myself or Sayful.”

In the witness box 30-year-old Glasford told the jury she had been a street worker and had carried knives in the past for protection from clients.

She agreed she had taken heroin and crack cocaine, but she said she never injected herself with drugs.

She told the jury that needles found by police at an address linked to her in Dunstable Road, Luton had nothing to do with her.

Glasford said she and her boyfriend had gone to the store that evening intending to steal bottles of alcohol to sell to shops to pay for drugs.

The defendant said as she tried to leave, having left the trolley behind, a tussle developed between her and Mr Islam. During an exchange or words, she said she took a pen from her pocket.

“I took the pen out of my pocket and said I had AIDS and to back off and that I would stab him. I never was intentionally going to do it with a pen, but I wanted him to get off my bag because we were having a tussle.”

Glasford was told by Judge David Farrell QC she will be sentenced for the offence in October after reports have been prepared.