In response to the article about the menace of shoplifters (Argus, December 11), I am the store detective who was attacked with a broken bottle.

The incident took place in August. I received cuts to my face and hands and the thief was also cut on the hands from the broken bottle.

Once I had disarmed him, he grabbed my cut hand with his and said: "Now you have got it."

I knew what he was talking about as he is a well known thief in Brighton and is infected with HIV and hepatitis.

Because of this attack, I have had to wait three months for the results of HIV tests. I now have to wait a further three months for the results of hepatitis tests.

This incident has ruined my life. I am seeing a counsellor and I am taking antidepressants and beta blockers for stress. I can't even go around town any more.

What makes me really angry are those "bleeding heart" supporters who, if they witness a violent shop thief being restrained by security personnel, shout out things such as, "Leave him alone, he's only a shoplifter, not a real criminal."

Well, if you were attacked by a drunken thief, punched, cut and possibly infected with a virus that would end your life, I hope you would not think him a real criminal.

Security guards and store detectives face situations like these every day.

We don't have handcuffs, batons or stab-proof vests. We do this job for crap pay to try to let decent people shop in Brighton knowing they are safe.

-Name and address supplied