Shop menace forced to pay compo

editorial image

A MAN who repeatedly swore at a supermarket checkout worker after she refused to serve him has been ordered to pay compensation to his victim.

Martin Ince, 41, admitted causing harassment, alarm or distress following an incident in a Tesco store on November 10 last year.

Wigan Magistrates’ Court heard how the victim, 22-year-old Tesco employee Nicola Thomason, was working on one of the tills shortly before 11pm when two people tried to buy two bottles of sambuca.

Although one of the people was known to be at least 18 years old, the other looked about 12 or 13.

When Ms Thomason refused to serve the pair - a stance backed by her manager - the youngsters called Ince, who arrived at the store about quarter of an hour later.

The manager explained to the defendant why Ms Thomason had not served the pair, so Ince fetched a bottle of sambuca, placed it on the till and said “serve me”. When the Tesco staff refused to serve him, he started waving his arms about, raising his voice and swearing at the staff.

A customer who witnessed part of the exchange described Ince’s behaviour as “appalling”.

In a victim impact statement, Ms Thomason said the incident had left her feeling scared to go to work - because Ince knew where to find her. She said it had also left her feeling “upset and angry”.

Ged Fraser, defending, told how his client could have accepted a police caution for the offence but had taken a “robust stance” when taken to the police station.

He admitted it was a “regrettable incident” but argued that the Tesco staff had employed an “ultra cautious” alcohol sale policy.

Magistrates handed Ince, of Devon Road, Tyldesley, a 12-month conditional discharge and ordered him to pay £85 costs, a £20 victim surcharge and £100 compensation to Ms Thomason.

They said: “We take a grave view of this behaviour.

“Nobody should be exposed to abuse of this kind, no matter what the provocation.”