Man who flew into rage over glass of coke spared jail

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A St Helens man who threw a pint of lager over a barman in a row over a glass of Coca Cola has been spared jail.

Simon Foster, 32, hurled a pint of Stella Artois at Damon Cross before launching into a foul-mouthed rant and threatening to “glass” him.

Wigan Magistrates’ Court heard how Foster, of Wellington Close, Newton-le-Willows, had gone to a pub carvery in Lowton on August 4 to celebrate his birthday.

He ordered a pint of Stella for a friend and a glass of coke for himself.

But when the barman explained that they only sold coke either by the bottle or as a refill, Foster “flipped”.

Katie Beattie, prosecuting, told how he threw the pint of Stella over Mr Cross before threatening to “glass” him.

He then threatened to wait for the barman to finish his shift and assault him in the pub carpark.

Mr Cross, who was left visibly shaking by the ordeal, later told police “nobody has ever picked up a glass and threatened me just for doing my job”.

Foster then left the pub, only to be arrested on his return - when he said he had wanted to apologise.

In interview, the defendant told how he had found out that one of his friends had died in an accident the previous day.

He accepted that his response had been “wrong” and subsequently admitted a charge of using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour before the courts.

Foster told the court: “I ordered a glass of coke because I don’t drink. When the barman told me they didn’t sell glasses of coke I just flipped.”

Magistrates handed Foster a 12-week jail sentence, suspended for 12 months. They also ordered him to attend the Resolve group work, pay £150 compensation to Mr Cross, £85 towards court costs and an £80 victim surcharge.

They told him: “This was a serious offence which involved threats of violence and had a disturbing effect on the victim.

“Your behaviour was absolutely appalling. You have a history of violence and threats and there is a need to protect the public from your inappropriate behaviour.”