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Rackheath trolley rage woman fined after fracas at Asda in Hellesdon

Vera Gilding at Norwich Magistrates Court on charges of common assualt and criminal damage.

Vera Gilding at Norwich Magistrates Court on charges of common assualt and criminal damage.

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An angry shopper rammed a trolley full of groceries into the stomach of a member of staff at Asda in Hellesdon - and then threw the contents of the trolley against the wall.

Vera Gilding, 57, lost her cool after getting involved in an argument with the customer services manager at the check-out, a court heard.

After swearing at the staff member she pushed the shopping trolley into the woman’s stomach and then took all the contents out and threw them down.

The victim had recently undergone a stomach operation and was left in considerable pain, Norwich magistrates heard yesterday .

Mrs Gilding, pictured right, from Vera Road, Rackheath, had previously pleaded not guilty to the charges, but changed her pleas to guilty to both common assault and criminal damage.

She was fined £100 plus a £15 victim surcharge and must pay Asda compensation of £27.46 for the groceries she destroyed.

Prosecuting, Ben Brighouse said the incident happened at about 4.50pm on December 27 last year.

He said: “The argument was about the payment of groceries. The items she was buying had been scanned by the check-out operator, but the defendant’s payment card had to be re-entered, because the supervisor’s over-ride was required. The defendant took issue with the re-entry of her card, as she considered that she had already paid for the goods.

“The customer services manager came over to the defendant who was verbally abusive towards her.

“She swore at her saying she was thick and stupid, and said that she did not know what she was doing.

“The manager asked her not to swear, as it was upsetting other customers, and asked her to leave the store.

“But the defendant then ran the trolley into her stomach, and took all the contents out of the trolley and threw them against the wall.

“All the items, worth £27.46, were written off by Asda, as they were no longer of sufficient quality to be sold.”

Mr Brighouse said the victim told police that Gilding had “rammed the trolley” into her, whilst holding the handlebar, and that it had hit her in the stomach.

She said she had undergone a stomach operation, which necessitated 10 weeks off work, and it had taken a while healing after the stitches were removed, which meant it was more painful.

Chris Browne, for Gilding, said that it was not a deliberate assault, and that his client had pleaded guilty on the basis that it was a “reckless” act.

He said: “A woman entered the store, believes she had paid for the goods, and a disagreement ensued. She used some choice language, but all this assault amounts to is somebody trying to leave a store, and then pushing a trolley at someone trying to stop her.

“It was an ugly incident but not a violent aggressive attack, and it must be at the lowest end of the scale, as common assaults go.”

Magistrates said there would be no order for costs due to Mrs Gilding’s lack of means, and the fines would be deducted from her income support payments.

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