McDonald's employee's attack ordeal

Burnley Magistrates Court
Burnley Magistrates Court

A McDonalds worker was attacked by a teenager after asking a gang to move from outside because the automatic doors kept opening, a court heard.

Damian Robert Smith (18) stood face to face with Rudolf Henry, stared at him and spat at him during the incident at the restaurant in Burnley town centre.

The town’s magistrates were told Mr Henry, who was born in Guyana and is an ex-soldier, told police he had never experienced anything like it before and had felt degraded. He added: "It was as if the male felt he was above me."

The victim, who said he loves working at McDonalds, told how he struggled to sleep for a couple of nights after his ordeal, but said: "This incident will not affect the way I do my job."

Smith, who has never been in trouble before, admitted assault by beating on October 25th. The defendant, of Fir Street, Burnley, received a four-week curfew, between 9pm and 7am, seven days a week. He must pay £50 compensation, £85 costs, a £150 criminal courts charge and a £60 victim surcharge.

Mr Andrew Robinson (prosecuting) told the hearing the victim would say a group was outside the restaurant and it was getting cold inside as the automatic front doors kept opening.

After about half-an-hour, Mr Henry asked the group to move on and they all did, apart from one male, who spat in his face.

Mr Robinson said the victim told his manager what had happened and police were called. He added: "He does say he found it disgusting and disrespectful."

Mr Mark Williams (defending) said he had not been part of the group that was there and had gone to meet his sister.

When he got there a man he had had some issues with was there, wanted a fight and threw punches at him. The doors opened and the man from McDonalds told him to move away, which, of course was what he should have done.

Mr Williams added: "He said to the police in interview that spitting is disgusting. I think anybody would be angry if something like that had happened. He loses his good character in circumstances that were wholly unnecessary. He apologises to the aggrieved."

Bench chairman Mr Neil Tranmer told the defendant: "This victim was a gentleman who was carrying out a public service. He obviously felt a considerable degree of degradation and it clearly affected him. One moment of madness has cost you dearly."