Hanley McDonald's worker punched in the face on his cigarette break
A DRUNK customer punched a fast food restaurant worker in the face after confronting him during his cigarette break, a court heard.
Andrew Scott carried out the attack shortly after being escorted out of McDonald's, in Hanley, by the police because he was being aggressive and repeatedly refused to leave.
He returned to the premises around 40 minutes later, where he spotted worker Stephen Gregory smoking outside.
North Staffordshire Justice Centre heard yesterday how 28-year-old Scott struck up a conversation with the man and asked him for a cigarette.
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But when Mr Gregory refused to hand one over, Scott simply helped himself to a cigarette and began to walk off.
When the McDonald's worker tried to snatch it back from him, Scott turned aggressive again and accosted him on the spot.
Clair Moss, prosecuting, said: "The defendant ran round to him. He punched him once in the mouth, causing a small cut to his lip.
"Mr Gregory threw his drink at the defendant and walked away."
Scott, of Poplar Court, Newcastle, pleaded guilty to a charge of assault by beating.
But the court heard he could recall little about the events which unfolded at McDonald's on February 4 as he had been drinking and taking prescription medication.
The trouble had first flared when he visited the fast food restaurant at 4.30pm that day.
Mrs Moss said: "He was asked to leave several times because he was being too aggressive."
After police were called, Scott appeared to have left.
But he returned to the area outside McDonald's at 5.10pm, apparently still in a drunken state.
His solicitor, Kelly Cyples, told the court: "His memory of the incident is somewhat hazy due to the alcohol he had consumed and the prescription medication. But he accepts the allegation fully."
She said Scott is now in the process of 'detoxing' so he can try to wean himself off alcohol.
Magistrates said there were several aggravating factors in the case.
These included the fact that he had targeted Mr Gregory outside his place of work, in a public area, and after he had already been thrown out of McDonald's for being aggressive.
They sentenced Scott to 14 days in custody.
As a result of being jailed, no compensation order was made and no court costs were imposed by the magistrates.