Port Talbot man jailed for assault in restaurant
A MAN assaulted a disabled woman as she ate in McDonald’s because he thought her partner looked at him in a “strange” way.
Gary Morgan repeatedly pushed Lynsey Cooper over as she ate in the Baglan restaurant of the fast food chain.
She had seen Morgan arguing with staff as she queued to place her order and heard him swearing loudly and being abusive.
Miss Cooper, who has back problems, restricted movement and uses crutches to walk, said she did not know Morgan.
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As she ate her meal, Morgan came over and when standing just inches away, he turned to her partner, Craig Howells, and accused him of arguing with him.
When he refused to leave, Miss Cooper told him she would call the police.
Prosecutor Nicola Powell said he began swearing at the couple before he grabbed her arm and pushed her across the seat.
She landed on her right arm and felt pain, Mrs Powell said.
As she sat back up and turned to face him, she told him to leave her alone.
Morgan, of Chopin Road, Port Talbot, again grabbed her and pushed her across the seat and her phone, which she was holding to call the police, fell onto the floor and smashed.
Miss Cooper said she was “absolutely terrified”.
He was eventually removed from the restaurant but continued to threaten them through the window saying he was going to “get” the couple.
Miss Cooper said she was still visibly shaking four hours after the attack and was left with pain to her back. Morgan, who was arrested at a nearby bus stop, continued to be abusive to police officers.
Morgan, 40, has previous convictions for assault, grievous bodily harm and conspiring to rob.
Frank Phillips, representing Morgan, said he was “sorry for what happened” but acted out of paranoia after himself being a victim of an attack.
He said his client had previously been involved in an attack where petrol was thrown over him.
“When he went into this restaurant he thought the complainant’s partner had looked at him in a strange way. Clearly he misunderstood the situation,” said Mr Phillips. “It escalated from there. That’s an explanation but it’s not put forward as an excuse,” said Mr Phillips.
“Whenever he seems to go out, trouble seems to follow him,” he added.
Judge Keith Thomas, sitting at Swansea Crown Court, said he had acted without “any reason or provocation”.
“It was a disgraceful attack on a lady who is disabled,” he added. “You have a quite dreadful record for violence and public order matters, particularly in the last couple of years.”
“You rarely go out, but it seems when you have, you have caused trouble,” he added.
He then jailed Morgan for 10 weeks.