An angry customer caused a flurry at a fast food drive through when he climbed through the serving hatch and spat at the cashier in a queue barging row.
Neil Messent lost his temper when he thought other customers had pushed in front of him at the McDonald’s in Pen Inn, Newton Abbot, and swore at the 17-year-old girl behind the counter before launching his attack.
Oil worker Messent, aged 49, was told he had behaved like a 19-year-old thug as he was ordered to pay compensation to the girl, who was left with spittle dripping down from her baseball cap.
He was originally jailed for his attack but was freed on appeal at Exeter Crown Court so he could take up a well-paid job in Dubai.
Judge Phillip Wassall cut his 18 week sentence to 16 weeks and suspended it for two years. He ordered him to pay £200 compensation with £165 costs.
He told Messent:”What on earth was a 49-year-old man in your position acting like a 19-year-old thug, but I believe you have acknowledged that yourself since this disgraceful episode.
“This was almost like road rage. If you had been in a queue in a café you may not have acted in this way, but you were in a car.
“Here you are, forcing the window open and trying to climb in and get at the people inside. It was absolutely extraordinary. I accept you now feel shame at the way you acted and have seen the letter of apology you have written to the victim.
“This was a 17-year-old girl working in a vulnerable position.”
Messent, of Stoneleigh Avenue, Torquay, admitted common assault. His appeal was allowed in part and he was freed so he could fly straight to Dubai to start his new job.
Miss Beth Heaton, prosecuting, said Messent was in the queue at McDonalds at Pen Inn at 11.30 am on August 3 last year when he thought other drivers had queue barged and became angry.
She said:”He started swearing and shouting. The girl behind the counter apologised to him. He was very angry and when asked to order he asked her to get the manager.
“He shouted at him and was described as throwing his arms about aggressively in his car but he swore and called the assistant a bitch.
“He got out of his car and went to the window, which unfortunately was broken and could not be locked. He forced it open and tried to climb in.
“He spat at the girl and it landed on her clothes and the manager saw it on her cap. He returned to his car and the girl was left shocked and angry by the incident.
“He later told police he knew his behaviour was unacceptable and he was embarrassed.”
Mr Paul Dentith, defending, passed the Judge a letter of apology written by his client and an offer of work from Dubai Bitumen.
He said Messent is sincerely remorseful and wanted him to convey his regret to the court and the victim.