Quarrel over fork left takeaway employee with facial injuries

Court
Court

An argument over a fork left a female Chinese takeaway employee with facial scarring, a judge heard on Tuesday.

Belfast Recorder Judge David McFarland heard that 24-year-old business graduate Alannah Richardson from Aghalee and three friends had gone to a Chinese takeaway on the Dublin Road in the early hours of January 24, 2010 but that one had taken a metal fork instead of a plastic one.

Prosecuting lawyer Kate McKay described to Belfast Crown Court how employee Jun Li went outside to where the group of friends were sitting in Richardson’s car and ‘rapped on the window’ in an effort to get the fork back.

Ms Li was ‘shouting through the window’ but the only response she got was that Richardson drove off while the Chinese woman was holding on to the door handle, causing her to fall to the ground.

That fall, said the lawyer, caused several scars to Ms Li’s face and hands and said she later had to have four teeth replaced with dentures.

Richardson, from the Soldierstown Road, was arrested and interviewed and admitted that she had left the scene of an accident.

She was due to go on trial on Tuesday accused of causing grievous bodily injury by dangerous driving but instead pleaded guilty to failing to stop, remain or report an accident.

Defence lawyer Joe Brolly said it was a rather ‘peculiar’ case and claims that when she drove off, Richardson was in fear of the woman who was banging on the glass and shouting at her in Mandarin.

Imposing a £100 fine and a four week driving ban on Richardson, Judge McFarland said there was ‘no doubt it was a highly charged situation’.

Richardson also faces a potential civil claim.