Ex-soldier went ‘berserk’ in row over Chinese meal

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A youth worker told a court she had never been so scared during her career as when a client went berserk in a row over a Chinese takeaway meal.

Connor Walker hurled a fire extinguisher, smashed a door, kicked the youth worker in the stomach and spat at her in the flare-up at South Tyneside Positive Activities Group at Boldon Colliery Village Hall in North Road.

I have worked in youth work for 18 years and have never been so scared or intimidated.

The injured party

Magistrates were told the ex-soldier had a “tantrum” after feeling singled out.

Walker, 19, of Arnold Street, Boldon Colliery, admitted a charge of assault by beating and damage to a fire extinguisher and a front door closer on July 5.

He was sentenced to a six- month community order, ordered to pay £350 compensation and a £150 court charge.

Kevin Ross, prosecuting, said: “This took place at a youth support group in Boldon. A project manager and a case worker were there when the defendant was eating a Chinese takeaway, which wasn’t allowed, and he was asked to leave.

“He threatened to throw his food at the staff, which he did.

He got to his feet and they tried to escort him from the building but he kicked the door and took a fire extinguisher from its mounting and threatened to throw it at the ladies.

“He then kicked the main entrance door, causing the arm of the automatic closing mechanism to break and he then kicked the injured party in the stomach.

“She leaned backwards and tried to detain him but hurt her calf on the step outside and he then kicked her in the side and spat at her.”

The injured party suffered pains to her stomach and an injury to her right calf. In a statement read to the court she said: “I have worked in youth work for 18 years and have never been so scared or intimidated.

“I believe young people need help and chances but Connor acted in such a way that he needs to know that his actions have consequences.”

David Forrester, defending, said: “Connor was eating his Chinese takeaway, apparently that is against the rules, but his view was that he was being unfairly singled out and he’s had a tantrum, there’s no other way of putting it.

“His history is that as a young boy of 16 he went in the army, he spent a year at Harrogate, 12 weeks at Catterick and passed out in the army, and did seven months but didn’t do any tours and left, coming under the influence of the wrong people and started taking legal highs.

“He’s off them now but there has been frustration about where his life is going.”