Customer shoved hot chips into woman’s face and punched her to the floor in row over gravy

Fish and chips.
Fish and chips.

A customer shoved hot chips into the face of a fish shop worker before punching her to the ground in a row over gravy.

Terry Joe Tyers carried out the drunken late night attack just 16 days after he was handed a suspended prison sentence for a previous assault.

Durham Crown Court heard Tyers, of Bryony Road, Chilton, and co-accused Luke Michael Todd entered Sunny’s Fish Bar in Spennymoor, County Durham, “apparently heavily intoxicated” and ordered chips shortly before 10pm on February 8.

Paul Abrahams, prosecuting, said when they were served, one of the pair picked up his chips and told the worker to put gravy on them.

The woman replied she couldn’t because he had the chips in his hands. Todd then became abusive, and a co-worker in the chippy told both him and Tyers to sit down.

Mr Abrahams said Todd began throwing chips, “clearly winding the situation up”, and the pair were subsequently told they were barred.

An assistant tried to usher them out but Tyers pushed his chips into her face. She then felt a blow to her head, knocking her to the ground, leaving her briefly unconscious.

Twenty-two-year-old Tyers admitted assault causing actual bodily harm and assault by beating, while Todd, 20, of Dean Park, Ferryhill, admitted common assault.

The court heard the conviction put Tyers in breach of a suspended eight month prison sentence for assault and affray.

Robert Mochrie, mitigating, presented references and an apology on behalf of Tyers, claiming it was “out of character”.

Judge Christopher Prince Jailing him for 15 months, including six months of the suspended sentence.

Judge Prince told him: “You were being aggressive and a bully to that lady, who was working in that shop that night, just trying to earn a living.”

The victim no longer works at the fish bar, but the judge issued a restraining order forbidding Tyers from contacting her, “until further order”.

Todd was given a 12-month community order, to include 150-hours’ unpaid work, with a 7pm to 6am home curfew, from Thursday to Sunday, for eight weeks.

Last updated Mon 17 Aug 2015.