Pensioner threatened to assault manager of Belfast McDonald’s

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A pensioner threatened to assault a McDonald’s restaurant manager after “losing control” when drinks were spilt on him, a court has heard.

John Ahern, 71, received a three-month suspended jail sentence for his outburst in the busy Belfast city centre outlet.

Ahern, of no fixed abode, was convicted of common assault, disorderly behaviour, and criminal damage to the staff member’s mobile phone.

Belfast Magistrates’ Court heard police were called to an ongoing incident inside the restaurant at Donegall Place on April 25.

Crown lawyer Stephanie Boyd said Ahern had been asked to leave after he started to swear loudly.

He responded by threatening to assault the restaurant manager and breaking the screen on his mobile phone, according to the prosecution.

With a number of families and children said to have been present, the pensioner continued to shout and swear as he was being arrested.

Defence counsel told the court Ahern had been in McDonald’s for a meal when a dispute with other diners led to drink being spilt on him.

“That’s what put him in the mood where he lost control,” the barrister continued.

“He regrets his behaviour on the day, and the fact that the manager’s phone was damaged.”

He argued that Ahern had merely “flicked his hand” when he realised the incident was being filmed.

“It was an incident that blew out of all proportion,” counsel added.

Suspending the prison term for 12 months, District Judge Fiona Bagnall also ordered Ahern to pay £60 restitution.