A woman who assaulted security staff after attempting to steal from a shop in Eastbourne has been convicted at court.

Leander Fitzgerald, 29, and of no fixed address, admitted one count of theft and one count of actual bodily harm by assault when she appeared at Lewes Crown Court on 20 June.

However, she failed to appear at court for her sentencing hearing in July and a warrant was issued for her arrest.

On 5 October, Fitzgerald was located by PC Miles and Special Constable Godden whilst on proactive patrol in Eastbourne town centre, and re-arrested. She has been remanded in custody ahead of a new sentencing date.

Fitzgerald had initially been arrested at the store in Meads Street on 15 May, after police received reports of a shoplifter behaving in a threatening manner.

Fitzgerald had been seen to hide multiple items under her clothing inside the store. When approached by security staff and told that she was barred from the store, she threw items to the floor and attempted to leave. Staff suspected she was still holding stolen items and blocked the exit.

Failing to push past, Fitzgerald threatened staff and brandished a bottle of prosecco.

She continued in an aggressive manner and made threats to stab the member of staff with needles, swung her bag in his face, stabbed his hand with a pair of tweezers, and bit his fingers.

She will be sentenced on 17 November.