Drunk teen attacked McDonald’s staff days after turning 18

PUBLISHED: 13:36 25 July 2019

A McDonalds restaurant at Gapton Hall in Great Yarmouth. Picture: Google Maps.

A McDonalds restaurant at Gapton Hall in Great Yarmouth. Picture: Google Maps.


A teenager assaulted two McDonald’s workers in the early hours of the morning, just days after her 18th birthday.

Verity Leonard, of Nelson Road, Great Yarmouth, had been complaining about her food from the restaurant when she went behind the counter and began attacking two workers, leaving one with a chipped tooth.

Yarmouth magistrates' heard how Leonard was joined by her friend Fulton Purdie, who himself only turned 18 four weeks earlier, who became threatening and abusive towards staff.

The incident occurred at the restaurant on Gapton Hall Retail Park at 4.45am on June 21.

Charles Falk, prosecuting, said: "The manager was called by a colleague who asked him to speak to a customer complaining about their food.

"He went through and she walked into the restricted area behind the counter and started swinging her clenched fists continously.

"The manager was hit on the lip and another member of staff was hit three or four times in the chest and tooth.

"Leonard told him she was going to kill him and cut his throat."

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After being arrested, Leonard spat inside the police van. Despite being warned by officers, she spat again and was charged with criminal damage, with the van needing to be cleaned.

Leonard pleaded guilty to two counts of assault by beating and one charge of criminal damage, while Purdie admitted being threatening and abusive.

Sally Dale, mitigating, said: "She has been in care for most of her childhood and had to move out of her accommodation when she turned 18.

"She was placed in a hostel, but does not do well in peer group situations. It is no coincidence this happened within days of her being there.

"Alcohol is an issue for her, but she is desperate to work and be a responsible adult.

"Her co-defendant was only trying to help his friend."

Leonard was handed a 12-month community order, involving 100 hours of unpaid work for the two assault charges, as well as an extra 40 hours for the criminal damage.

She was ordered to pay compensation to one victim of £269.30 for dental work, and £100 to the other victim.

Purdie, of King Street, Great Yarmouth, was given a 12 month conditional discharge and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £20 and court costs of £40.

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