A rampaging yob who brought terror to a Nelson service station was aggressive to a cabbie, got on his bonnet, and damaged two tills to the tune of £4,000, a court has heard.
Burnley magistrates heard how drunken James Daniel Mason, who had been downing "extremely potent cocktails," leapt onto the counter at the BP Garage on Netherfield Road, smashed a £2,000 till and damaging it beyond repair, knocked goods off shelves, and shouted "Don't call police."
The 26-year-old could remember nothing of what went on during the "protracted" trouble, only waking up in the police cells the next morning. Mrs Tracy Yates, prosecuting, told the court that at 7.15am, garage employee James Harper became aware of an argument between the defendant and the taxi driver.
He saw Mason being aggressive towards the driver and shouting and swearing and the cabbie went into the store to get away from the defendant. Mason followed him, continuing to be aggressive and shouting, and swung out at one of the shop displays, knocking over cleaning products.
Mrs Yates continued: "He approached the till, jumped on the counter, and pushed one of the tills on the floor, smashing the screen."
The defendant then went outside, stood on the taxi bonnet and threw logs around. Mr Harper locked the door with him and the taxi driver inside the shop. Mason shoulder barged the door open, went in shouting, and knocked another till over and damaged it. He also knocked more items off the shelves.
The prosecutor said each till was worth £2,000. Mr Harper was in shock after what happened. She added: "The incident was very frightening. Several times during the incident he feared violence to either himself or the taxi driver."
Mason was arrested at the scene and made no comment. He had previous convictions, including one for criminal damage in 2010. The defendant, who wasn't represented by a solicitor, told the hearing: "I have come to plead guilty. That's all I have got to say."
A probation officer who interviewed Mason about the outburst said: "He can't really give me any information about it. He tells me that he had been out drinking with friends and the last thing he remembers, about 1am, is leaving a pub and after that he can't remember anything. "
The defendant, of Birtwistle Avenue in Colne, admitted criminal damage to the tills and using threatening or abusive words or behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm, or distress on January 27.
He was given eight weeks in prison suspended for 12 months with a 10-day rehabilitation activity requirement and 40 hours unpaid work. Mason was ordered to pay £4,000 compensation. Sentencing, Bench chairman Mr Stephen Riley told the defendant: "It was a protracted matter. You were in drink and it was a public place."