A man who caused chaos at a retail park in Northamptonshire by spraying a substance as he stole items has been jailed.
Ashley Maparura, 29, of Nether Jackson Court in Northampton, has been put behind bars after the terrifying incident at Currys PC World in Kettering on February 15.
Emergency services rushed to the Belgrave Retail Park in Northfield Avenue at about 3.30pm and it was initially declared a major incident before being downgraded.
Several members of the public could be seen with blankets around their shoulders outside the store at 5pm, and large bottles of a clear substance had been poured on the ground outside the store.
One person who witnessed the emergency response said: “There was a cordon across the whole car park. I’ve never seen so many hi-vis vests in one place.”
A number of people suffered irritation and two people were taken to Kettering General Hospital as a precaution.
Maparura was arrested and charged with three offences.
At Northampton Magistrates’ Court last month he admitted stealing two Dyson vacuums, assault with intent to resist arrest and possession of an offensive weapon - incapacitant spray.
Maparura was jailed for a total of one year.
Court documents said it was an ‘extremely serious offence’, adding: “[The] fear the defendant created by spraying something when they had no idea what was coming out of the can is unforgiveable.”
Maparura has since lodged an appeal against his sentence.