A Banbridge man who damaged a screen and till monitor in a takeaway when they didn’t put pepperoni on his pizza has been fined £500 and ordered to pay compensation.
The 29-year-old was charged with criminal damage and common assault.
The court heard that on July 24 last year, police attended a takeaway in Banbridge following reports of property being damaged by an intoxicated man.
On police arrival, staff stated that at around 1:45am, the man, who had purchased food, had returned to the store as he was unhappy with his pizza.
Staff attempted to give him his money back and the man became “more irate”, punching through the Perspex screen on the counter and knocking over the till monitor.
There was noticeable damage to the screen and monitor, which staff were unable to get working again. He also leaned across the counter and attempted to punch one of the staff members.
During interview following the incident, CCTV footage was shown and the defendant gave a no-comment interview.
District Judge King, on hearing the facts, described it as a “nasty enough incident”.
Waring’s defence solicitor then explained to the court that his client is self-employed and employs seven people directly.
He said: “On the night in question, he’d been out for the night drinking. It was a quarter to two in the morning. It was after a long night of drinking and the shop owner in the statement confirms that the defendant was very drunk.”
He continued that the defendant had ordered a pepperoni pizza, but when he discovered there was no pepperoni on the pizza he brought it back and complained to the shop owner. He then recalled that the owner allegedly “snapped the pizza off him and threw his money back at him”.
The defence added: “He accepts that he totally overreacted and accepts it was a combination of drink and tiredness.”
District Judge King remarked: “The occasional times that you drink and drink to excess, my impression is you tend to throw your weight about…. Because your record shows disorderly behaviour, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, assault on police…
“It’s about time you grew up and wised up. If drink causes you to behave in such a fashion, you should moderate your intake of alcohol.”
For the charges of assault and criminal damage, District Judge King imposed a fine of £250 on each, making a total fine of £500.
He also imposed a compensation order of £250, giving the defendant a total of 10 weeks to pay.
District Judge King added: “Next time you’re up for anything like that, it’ll be a prison sentence. The only reason that has stopped me from doing that today is because you’re in full-time employment and employing people.”