Disgruntled customer smashes plate in chip shop owner’s face in ‘cold’ food row

A disgruntled woman smashed a plate in the face of a chip shop owner and left her with a bloody nose following a row over an order.

Wendy Mountford, 55, struck Shirley Hollies with the plate, causing it to break, after hurling chips and mushy peas at her back.

She then proceeded to pull her hair during the incident at her home in Biddulph, Stoke-on-Trent Live reports.

Mountford denied using the plate as a weapon and claimed that she had only been acting in self-defense after Mrs Hollies had attacked her.

However, she was convicted of assault occasioning actual bodily harm following a trial at North Staffordshire Justice Center.

During her defense evidence, Mountford admitted that she sometimes took too much prescription medication and hallucinated.

The court heard Mountford had called to order two meals from Shepherd Street Chippy in Biddulph on the evening of April 24, 2021. But when the food was delivered to her bungalow, she found that some items were missing.

Mountford called the chip shop to complain, and Mrs Hollies, who runs the business with her husband, decided to deliver the additional items herself. But when she got to the address, the row continued, with Mountford now claiming that the food that had been delivered first was cold.

Mrs Hollie said after she had failed to resolve the issue, she told Mountford that she would be reimbursed, and started to leave, which is when the incident turned violent.

Shepherd Street Chippy
Shepherd Street Chippy

She told the court: “I felt something on my back and I realized she’d thrown the food at me. I saw later that there were peas down my back. I turned around to ask her what she was doing, but as I turned , I saw this plate hurtle at my face, and I just felt this massive pain in my face.

I put my hands on my face and put my head down. My nose was pouring blood. But then she started pulling at my hair. I was just trying to get her off me. I was continuing to bleed while this was happening. I was trying to protect my face di lei. “

Mrs Hollies eventually got away and drove back to the chip shop, using her pinny to soak up the blood still gushing from her nose, and the police were called. She went to A&E where medics told her that her nose was not broken, but she was later diagnosed with a deviated septum, with a doctor stating it could only have been the result of blunt force trauma.

She added: “I had surgery on it, I paid for it myself. I just couldn’t sleep.”

The court also heard that Mountford was heard slurring her words when she placed her order, and when she called back to complain. But she insisted she was not drunk, having only consumed half a pint of lager that day – although lei she was taking several prescription medicines.

During her evidence, Mountford claimed she had intended to throw the food at her garden, and was not aiming at Mrs Hollies. But she said this had resulted in the other woman shouting angrily and lunging at her, leading to a scuffle in the porch. She also claimed that the plate had been dropped to the floor during the incident, causing it to smash.

The defendant said her son Mark Mountford had been standing between the two of them as they pulled each other’s hair, and claimed that, during the fight Mrs Hollies broke her thumb. Mrs Hollies denied doing this, and Mr Mountford admitted under cross-examination he could have accidentally caused the injury himself as he tried to keep the women apart.

The court also heard evidence from Mountford’s friend Steven Ball, who had visited a pub with her and was in the house at the time of the incident. He also claimed it was Mrs Hollies who had started the fight – although several details were different in his account di lui, such as his claim that the scuffle had preceded the food throwing.

The magistrates decided that Mrs Hollies was the more reliable witness, pointing at the inconsistencies in the defense evidence and Mountford’s own admission that she sometimes hallucinated. They therefore accepted the prosecution’s version of events and found Mountford guilty of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Sentence was adjourned until June 13, with all sentencing options available.

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