Customer makes vow to burn town shop down

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An AWKWARD customer faces jail if he does not pay £185 compensation to a shopkeeper he left with a cut lip.

A court heard that Kenneth Warner, 31, lashed out after buying tobacco from a store near his home in Nelson Street, Cotmanhay.

He had become angry because the shopkeeper had asked for the age of Warner’s daughter when she bought some soft drinks, said Sanjay Jerath, prosecuting.

Warner turned up later and punched the shopkeeper, causing a lip to bleed in the incident on May 25. There was more trouble in a visit on June 17.

As well as making racist remarks, Warner said: “I don’t care about the police. I am going to burn your shop down,” Mr Jerath added at the magistrates’ court in Derby.

Warner admitted being in breach of an order imposed on August 2 by failing to obey a curfew. The court was told he had also failed to clear the compensation ordered by magistrates.

District Judge Caroline Goulborn ordered him to pay this at a rate of £10 a fortnight or be sent to prison for a week.

She put him on probation for a year after revoking the earlier court order.

She told him: “There is no reason why I should not send you to prison but I am trying to help you.

“You have paid nothing since August. I find you guilty of culpable neglect, which is a posh way of saying you are to blame for not paying that money.”

A report said he received £95 a week in benefits but jobless Warner said he had been unable to keep up the payments. He said: “My money got stopped.”

The judge told him “If you don’t pay the order, you will be serving seven days.”

Nicola Hunter, for Warner, said he was now receiving help for medical problems.