Happy meal threats land mum in court

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A MUM who threatened McDonald’s staff and police in a row over a happy meal has narrowly avoid a court ban from the fast food restaurant.

Magistrates wanted to ban Theresa O’Connor, 32, from the Bury St Edmunds branch of McDonald’s for 18 months, after hearing how staff feared for their safety when the mum visited the restaurant with her 10-year-old daughter.

But a legal technicality over the type of order magistrates made meant the court was unable to impose a ban.

O’Connor, who lives at The Vinefields, in Bury, appeared before the Bury court on Thursday when she pleaded guilty to two charges of threatening behaviour and one of criminal damage to a police cell.

Wayne Ablett, prosecuting, said the incident happened at about 8.30pm on November 19. He said O’Connor, who had been drinking, swore at shift manager Maxine Preece and called another member of staff a ‘prostitute’.

He said: “The defendant left McDonald’s but returned shortly afterwards saying ‘Who do you think you are? I know you, I’m going to come round there and smash your face in, I’m going to wait outside for you’.”

Mr Ablett said the staff said they felt ‘very frightened and intimidated’.

Police were called to the scene – O’Connor then threatened to ‘bash’ Pc Naomi Lofthouse’s ‘mouth in’, Mr Ablett said.

At the police station she threw coffee over the cell wall and ceiling. During interview she admitted being abusive but said it was ‘back and forth’ and refused to give any further detail claiming she did not remember.

“She finished off the interview by saying to the interviewing officer, ‘Let’s hope you and I don’t meet again,’ Mr Ablett said.

Claire Lockwood, in mitigation, said O’Connor accepted her behaviour was ‘disgraceful’

“She became frustrated at having to wait a long time for her food,” Mrs Lockwood said. She added that it had started as ‘banter’ with staff which O’Connor then took as an insult.

Magistrates called it ‘one off offence’ and gave O’Connor an 18-month conditional discharge and ordered her to pay £50 to Ms Preece and £50 costs.