Darlington man jailed for attack on disabled customer and member of staff at petrol station

Darlington and Stockton Times: The scene of the incident The scene of the incident

A MAN who attacked a disabled customer at a petrol station and then a member of staff who came to his aid was behind bars last night (Tuesday, December 17).

Adam Mackay was told by a judge that he had been obnoxious and cynical during the incident at the Snax 24 garage in Northgate, Darlington.

Mackay, 25, stole wine and cigarettes from a man in a wheelchair who had just left the filling station shop, Teesside Crown Court heard.

When a worker rushed to help the disabled victim, she was also struck and when her spectacles fell on the ground, Mackay stamped on them.

His barrister, Nigel Soppitt, told the court that shamed Mackay had since moved from the area after being "lambasted" by others.

He urged Judge Michael Taylor to consider a suspended prison sentence because his client had been out of trouble for more than three years.

"This can be treated as an isolated, though shocking, incident," said Mr Soppitt. "He has made great strides over the last few years.

"He has sought help for his drinking and his anxiety. He has shown in the past he can deal with orders that are made by the courts."

Mackay, of Pleasant View, Darlington, was jailed for a year after he admitted charges of affray and theft from May 12.

Judge Taylor told him: "You threatened him and slapped him, and when there was intervention from a member of staff you went at her.

"You portrayed yourself as the victim, with the man in the wheelchair the aggressor. This was a particularly unpleasant attack.

"You initially went to assist him and then for some reason, you turned. It was obvious to me watching the video that you snapped.

"You lost your temper, you lunged at him, and you did both threaten and physically assault him as well stealing his drink and cigarettes.

"You immediately turned upon the shop assistant who had gone out to help a helpless customer.

"Your behaviour towards her - someone who was acting as a Good Samaritan - was particularly unpleasant and obnoxious.

"Stamping on her glasses was the most cynical and obnoxious behaviour.

"It is right that people who are working, particularly in stores like that early in the morning, are protected from violence from people such as you."

Police released images from the garage's closed circuit television cameras after the 6am assaults in a bid to identify the attacker.

At the time, Detective Constable Tony Kent, of Darlington police, praised the worker's quick-thinking and selfless actions.

He said: “In her own words, she said she could not stand by and watch a vulnerable person being assaulted.

“It is not in her nature to stand by and watch, she had to try and stop the attack.”

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