A SHOP assistant was hit by a man accused of shoplifting.
George Edward Graham denied punching his victim during a confrontation at Park Lane Interchange in Sunderland.
But he admitted slapping him, claiming the Maplin worker called him a “dirty smackhead”, a court heard.
Prosecutor Jeanette Smith told Sunderland Magistrates’ Court the assault took place as Graham was walking near the bus station shortly before 7pm on April 5.
The 42-year-old, of Dundas Street, Monkwearmouth, began shouting at his victim, before hitting him from behind on the right-hand side of the head.
In a statement read to the court, the man said the incident had left him “nervous and scared”.
He added: “I’m worried what will happen if I come across him again. There was no reason for him to hit me. I did nothing to provoke him in any way.”
Graham admitted assault. Jason Smith, defending, claimed the shop assistant had called Graham a “dirty, thieving smackhead”, after he was arrested for allegedly shoplifting from Maplins.
Mr Smith added: “Mr Graham accepts he eventually went over and pushed him in the back.
“There was a verbal confrontation between the two which ended with the injured party saying ‘I know where you live and I know where your mam lives’.
“Mr Graham accepts he became frustrated and slapped him with an open hand.”
Magistrates adjourned sentencing to link the case with a hearing at Newcastle Magistrates’ Court.