Pizza ‘boss’ ends up caus­ing fra­cas

Take­away staff re­fused to show pair def­er­ence

The Press and Journal (Moray) - - LOCAL NEWS - BY DAVID MACKAY

A Mo­ray man who threat­ened to turn vi­o­lent when pizza take­away staff re­fused to call him “boss” has been sen­tenced to unpaid work.

Lee Ste­wart, who used to work at Pino Pizza’s El­gin branch, vis­ited the firm’s Lossiemouth base with his part­ner on July 2.

When be­mused staff de­clined to show def­er­ence to the 38-year-old the cou­ple be­came vi­o­lent.

Ni­cola Baker, who lives in El­gin with Ste­wart, threat­ened to burn down the Queen Street out­let and ges­tured to staff that she would slit their throats.

Fright­ened cus­tomers, who were also in the store at about 1am, called the po­lice af­ter the pair be­gan shout­ing and swear­ing.

Yes­ter­day, both Ste­wart and Baker, 30, ap­peared at El­gin Sher­iff Court to be sen­tenced af­ter plead­ing guilty to the of­fence.

Fis­cal Alex Swain said: “Both ac­cused went out­side at one point and a mem­ber of staff man­aged to shut the door.

“Both con­tin­ued to shout from out­side. Miss Baker started to kick the door and made a ges­ture that she would slit the throats of staff by glid­ing a fin­ger across her neck.

“A cus­tomer who was there was so hor­ri­fied that she con­tacted the po­lice.”

The glass door to the take­away was even­tu­ally smashed af­ter Baker con­tin­ued to kick it.

When po­lice caught up with the duo on the A941 Lossiemouth to El­gin road, near Spynie Palace, of­fi­cers had to use their spray to sub­due Ste­wart. Ste­wart then “lashed” and “struck” out at PC Kyle Cowie.

His de­fence so­lic­i­tor Ian Malt­man said: “Mr Ste­wart used to work for Pino Pizza and had a good rap­port with staff.

“Staff in El­gin pre­vi­ously called him ‘boss’, al­though he was not the man­ager. When he vis­ited the Lossiemouth branch he sug­gested staff there should call him that.

“The dif­fi­culty was that the com­plainer did not know Mr Ste­wart and took ex­cep­tion to that.”

Ste­wart and Baker, both of Hazel Court in El­gin, ad­mit­ted be­hav­ing in a threat­en­ing or abu­sive man­ner by shout­ing and swear­ing and mak­ing threats of vi­o­lence at Pino Pizza.

Baker pleaded guilty to a fur­ther charge of reck­lessly or ma­li­ciously caus­ing dam­age by kick­ing a door and smash­ing a glass pane, while Ste­wart ad­mit­ted a fur­ther charge of re­sist­ing ar­rest.

Baker was or­dered to do 120 hours of unpaid work and pay £100 com­pen­sa­tion, Ste­wart was sen­tenced to 160 hours of unpaid work.

GUILTY: Former pizza worker Lee Ste­wart de­manded take­away staff call him boss

Ni­cola Baker: fire threat

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