Petrol station regular hits garage owner, 74, in row over fuel tab
A REGULAR customer at a petrol station hit a 74-year-old woman with a car hose pipe after he was refused fuel on a tab.
Peter Green, aged 35, of Hereford Avenue, Clayton, became enraged when staff at the Quarry Service Station in Audley, refused to allow him to fill up for free and then claim the money back from his father at a later date.
Prosecutor Robert Price told Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court that Green and his family had been regular customers and had often been allowed to run up a tab.
Mr Price said: "Green arrived in a green Vauxhall. He asked for £10 of fuel and said his dad would pay later.
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"Paul Barrow said he would have to wait for his dad. He became upset. He opened the car door and stereo equipment fell out.
"He blamed Mr Barrow for the damage."
Mr Barrow asked Green to leave and the defendant started shouting angrily, knocking over a display stand and pulling at the exhaust pipe of a car which was waiting for repairs."
Mr Barrow's mother, service station owner Eileen Barrow, who lived nearby and had witnessed the incident, then arrived and tried to calm him down.
Mr Price said: "Green took off his T-shirt and disconnected a car hose, which he swung around his head.
"Suddenly, he swung again and the metal end connected with her right arm.
"She was in pain. Police were called and he was arrested.
"Mrs Barrow was referred to the fracture clinic."
Mrs Barrow, who was aged 74 at the time of the assault, suffered a broken wrist and required physiotherapy and rehabilitation.
The court heard Green has been before the courts on 21 separate occasions since 1993, and has a number of previous convictions for violence.
Mitigating, Anis Ali told the court: "There are real concerns of his mental health, long-standing issues which need resolving.
"While in custody he has been making progress.
"He wants to put his criminality behind him."
Green, who admitted charges of affray and assault causing actual bodily harm, was sentenced to 12 months in prison, suspended for two years, along with a 12-monthsupervision order and a requirement to attend a thinking skills programme.
Judge Robert Trevor-Jones told him: "The Barrow family have been in a commercial, but friendly relationship with you and your family, yet on this day you lost your temper due to circumstances which were nothing to do with them, but more to do with you and your behaviour.
"This became a frightening incident for those concerned.
"You picked up that weapon, a hose pipe, and swung it around and you struck a 74-year-old woman.
"Real distress arose from this.
"She was vulnerable and elderly and it was a nasty injury.
"You have an unpleasant and a violent record."