A man who spat on a staff member at a busy Arbroath bakery in a foul-mouthed rant over a Cornish pasty has been warned he could go to jail.
In front of shocked customers, Mark Bruce delivered a volley of abuse at employees in the popular Pie Bob’s premises on Grant Road, before hitting one female worker in the mouth with his spittle as they tried to get him to leave the shop.
The bakery bust-up was among a string of offences admitted by the 51-year-old and a sheriff has deferred sentence to consider options which could also include an electronic tag.
Depute fiscal Jill Drummond told Forfar Sheriff Court Bruce had gone into the bakery on May 6 and asked if Cornish pasties were sold and where they were made.
“When he was told they were made on the premises the accused became aggressive, saying the bakery should not do so,” said Ms Drummond.
He then fired various insults in the shop, calling one member of staff a “slut”.
The fiscal added: “He appeared unstable on his feet, as if under the influence, and continued to shout at staff.
“Bruce was told abuse of staff would not be tolerated and as one employee moved towards the entrance hatch he lunged towards her with his arm raised as if to punch her. He continued delivering expletives at staff and attempted to lunge at her again.”
The accused then spat over the counter and the witness was hit with spittle on her mouth.
Defence solicitor Keith Sym said: “His position is that he had a medical condition linked to COPD causing him to produce excessive amounts of saliva.
“He accepts there was spittle went towards the lady.”
Bruce, of West Newgate, Arbroath admitted further incidents on December 14 last year in which he breached the peace, and a May 16 offence in which he made threats in Arbroath’s Union Street East.
Mr Sym said his client was “old enough and wise enough” to know his behaviour in the incidents was not acceptable.
“The difficulty for the court is how it deals with Mr Bruce given his health and the range of options available.”
Sheriff Alison McKay warned Bruce: “You cannot treat people like this and expect to be at liberty.”
The accused was fined £300 for breaching the peace, but had sentence deferred for a month for the preparation of a background report and restriction of liberty order assessment in relation to the Pie Bobs offence.