A man threw a rock through the window of a takeaway because he though his lamb kebab was burnt.
John Tingle, of Marina View, Church Street, Hartlepool, was found guilty in his absence of criminal damage at Best Shawarma fast food restaurant, in Sunderland.
The court heard Tingle said he was a regular customer at the Best Shawarma Fast Food Restaurant in Hartlepool and had not had any problems with his meal there before.
He told police afterwards that staff at the Hartlepool takeaway “are reasonable guys”, a court heard.
Prosecutor Sarah O’Neill, at Sunderland Magistrates’ Court, said the 50-year-old was found by police officers lying inside the restaurant after smashing the window with a rock, in a row over burned lamb on June 17.
A police officer told the court he was called to the restaurant and saw that the main window of the property was smashed and cracked.
“It was heavily damaged and there was a rock on the floor next to the main window,” he said.
“There was a gentleman lying on the floor inside the shop and he identified himself as the person who smashed the window. He said ‘I used that rock outside to smash the window’.
“I made a pocket book entry which he signed and he was taken to the police station.”
The court heard Tingle was interviewed on June 18, where he told police he went back to confront the owners of the shop and demand a new meal after the lamb kebab he was served was burned.
Magistrates were told Tingle said to police: “I was in there as a customer and when I was served the lamb was all burned, so I went back in and said ‘look at it it’s all burned mate. I want an new one’.
“I got loads of grief off them and was told to get out of the shop.”
Tingle said he himself called the police using 101, but said the number was a “waste of time” as he couldn’t get through, so he decided to put a rock through the window instead, as a way of solving his problem.
During a police interview read out in court, Tingle was asked whether this solved his problem.
He replied: “No, but I felt better. I wouldn’t say I was acting recklessly.”
The defendant did not turn up to a hearing at court on Thursday, October 22, and was not represented.
He pleaded not guilty to causing £600 worth of damage on June 17.
The court heard how he has 36 previous convictions, including for being drunk and disorderly and for not paying train fare.
The bench found the defendant guilty and a warrant has been issued to remand him at South Tyneside Magistrates to be sentenced.