The uncle of tragic toddler Lia Green has been jailed for four years after threatening a shopkeeper with a knife and stealing a bottle of vodka.
Jason Basterfield, 19, descended into a spiral of drinking and offending following the arrest of his brother, Richard Green, on suspicion of Lia’s murder, a court was told. On January 29, Basterfield, of Stocks Road, Ashton on Ribble, brandished a knife at shopkeeper Dwarampudi Reddy, who was working in his shop, Reddy’s Off Licence, in St George’s Road, Deepdale.
Earlier that day he had stolen a bottle of vodka from the Co-op in Ashton-on-Ribble and had drunk it, along with several cans of beer, Preston Crown Court was told.
At around 10.25pm, Basterfield went into the shop in St George’s Road, Deepdale, and pulled a knife from his pocket, saying: “I’m going to do you.”
As he left the store he picked up a bottle of vodka without paying, leaving the security tag intact. Mr Reddy was left shaken by the incident, which was captured on CCTV.
Daniel King, defending, told the court Basterfield had a difficult upbringing with little stability. He had reacted to his brother’s arrest by stealing alcohol for his own consumption, he told the court. Basterfield pleaded guilty to robbery and possession of a bladed article and asked for seven other offences to be taken into consideration. At the time of the robbery he was subject to a suspended sentence which had been imposed two weeks earlier.
Judge Simon Newell, sentencing, said: “This is a serious offence and the production of a knife in these circumstances and threatening a 57-year-old man and his wife in a local shop at night is a serious offence.”
Three-year-old Lia died after being taken ill at her home in Plungington last year.
Her father Richard Green, 22, of Harling Road, Preston, has been charged with her murder and is currently awaiting trial. Lia’s mother, Natalie Critchley, 21, of Norris Street, denies causing or allowing the death of the youngster and is awaiting trial.