Customer smashed a plate in chip shop owner's face, court hears

Customer battered fish and ship shop boss by smashing a plate in her face and throwing chips and mushy peas at her because takeaway order was wrong, court hears

  • Wendy Mountford, 55, of Biddulph, Staffs, threw a plate in Shirley Hollies’ face 
  • Mountford complained items were missing from a delivery on April 24 last year
  • Chip shop owner Ms Hollies delivered extra items in person, but was attacked
  • Mountford denied using crockery as a weapon but received suspended jail term
  • A 55-year-old-woman has avoided jail after smashing a plate in a chip shop owner’s face in a row over a takeaway, leaving her victim bloodied and with two black eyes. 

    Wendy Mountford turned violent after arguing that some of her food was missing from her purchase at Shepherd Street Chippy in Biddulph, Staffordshire.

    North Staffordshire Justice Centre heard that the mother-of-two ordered two meals for delivery to her bungalow in Biddulph on April 24 last year. 

    But when it arrived, she insisted that items she had paid for were not in the bag.

    After calling the chip shop to complain, business director Shirley Hollies decided to deliver the additional food herself and left them on Mountford’s doorstep in line with coronavirus rules at the time.

    Wendy Mountford, 55, turned violent after arguing that some of her food was missing a takeaway on April 24 last year (pictured outside North Staffordshire Justice Centre)

    Wendy Mountford, 55, turned violent after arguing that some of her food was missing a takeaway on April 24 last year (pictured outside North Staffordshire Justice Centre)

    Chip shop owner Shirley Hollies was left bruised and bloodied after she was viciously attacked by Mountford

    Chip shop owner Shirley Hollies was left bruised and bloodied after she was viciously attacked by Mountford

    It was at this point she was greeted by Mountford, who threw chips and mushy peas at her victim’s back before smashing a plate in her face. 

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

    But she was convicted of assault occasioning actual bodily harm following a trial.

    The defendant – who has a history of mental health problems – has now been handed a suspended prison sentence. 

    Mrs Hollies, who has run the business for 10 years and has lived in the area all her life, told the court that the shocking attack left her unable to sleep.

    She said: ‘We were running behind on deliveries. My daughter answered the phone and was struggling with the customer. I attended the address and put the food on the step. The door was opened by the female. 

    ‘She continued to complain and there was a male shouting about the wrong order. I felt a thud in my upper back. She threw the food.

    ‘I looked back and saw the defendant with a plate, she ran towards me and collided it to my nose. My face was in pain – I was heavily bleeding.

    ‘I said ‘I’m calling the police when I’m back’ and I drove back to the chip shop. I can’t believe what happened. I went to hospital and had two black eyes. I have not been able to sleep properly. My children were crying.’

    Ms Hollies said: 'I went to hospital and had two black eyes. I have not been able to sleep properly. My children were crying.'

    Ms Hollies said: ‘I went to hospital and had two black eyes. I have not been able to sleep properly. My children were crying.’

    The court heard Mountford being a victim of domestic violence in the past and was made homeless back in 2002.

    Janice Sain-Reiners, mitigating, told magistrates: ‘She’s not managed to get her mental health on track. She has been to her GP. 

    ‘She is unable to work. She’s sorry it had occurred. She was on antidepressants at the time and she had one pint – the tablets tend to make her slurred.’

    Mountford was handed a 16-week sentence prison sentence suspended for 12 months. 

    District Judge Marcus Waite told her: ‘You seemed to have reacted in a disproportionate and shocking way to what seemed like a minor complaint about food. You attacked the victim. You smashed a plate into her face.

    ‘You have been a victim in the past. You have physical health and mental health difficulties. You need to stick to this order. I have given you a chance.’

    Mountford was also handed a 15 day rehabilitation activity requirement and was ordered to pay £300 compensation to the victim with £200 costs and a £128 victim surcharge.