A FATHER and son have been fined for their part in a shocking attack on three staff members in Boston’s McDonald’s restaurant which went viral online after the video was shared on social media sites.
Three restaurant staff were assaulted during the incident last August as families with young children looked on.
Magistrates described the incident which was caught on mobile phone video then shared onto social media as ‘shocking and terrible behaviour’.
Simon Robert Miller, 43, then living at Whitehall, Gosberton near Spalding but now at Aveland Way, Aslackby, near Sleaford admitted assault by beating on Nathan Whittemore.
His son Daniel Miller, 20, of Hill View Gardens, Morton, also admitted assault by beating on Mr Whittemore as well as threatening behaviour with intent to cause people to believe immediate violence would be used against them.
The 17-year-old, also of Morton but who cannot be named for legal reasons, admitted assaulting Mr Whittemore as well as Oakleigh Weekes and another member of staffby beating, as well as threatening behaviour and criminal damage to an external window and an internal wall at McDonald’s during the incident.
Prosecuting, Ruth Snodin said the three entered McDonalds in Boston in the evening of August 7 following a banger racing meeting.
She said Daniel Miller and the youth were both seen to attack Mr Whittemore after he had asked them to leave the premises when the youth had locked another member of staff in a cupboard, taken his glasses and had also goaded him about his sexuality.
She said damage was caused to the restaurant by the youth, who damaged a window and a wall, but after they had gone out, Simon Miller came back in and punched Mr Whittemore and the youth came back in and punched the other staff memebr.
She said that when they were arrested, Simon Miller had said he had only got involved to get his son off but admitted he did slap Mr Whittemore, allegedly in self defence.
Mitigating for the youth and Daniel Miller, Martin Newton said the incident was ‘something out of character’ for both, neither of whom had any previous convictions.
He said all three had been drinking and ‘clearly became the worse for wear’, before they went to McDonald’s for some food and started ‘messing around’.
He said the two younger ones put each other into the cupboard and then, when the staff member came out, ‘he went in the cupboard’.
Mr Newton said another member of staff then came out and told them ‘not to be so silly’ and things ‘quickly escalated’ from there.
He said ‘a number of punches were thrown but then it died down’ but the youth took a metal strip from the door and used it to cause damage to a window and a wall before assaulting another staff member.
“It wasn’t a homophobic attack,” said Mr Newton, “it was just a one-off line”.
He said the prolific media and social network coverage had been an ‘enormous embarrassment’ to them.
Stuart Wilde, mitigating for Simon Miller said that he had ordered and paid for the food but when things started between his son and the youth and the staff, he went to get the van and when he came back he ‘had a clash with Mr Whittemore’.
“He came late to the party,” he said “and at most one punch was thrown.”
The magistrates said it had been ‘shocking and terrible behaviour’ and a ‘very, very serious incident’ in a restaurant where there would have been young children, but added that both Daniel Miller and the youth had written full apologies to McDonald’s about their behaviour.
Fining him £378 with £122 in costs and charges, they told Simon Miller that he had been ‘responsible for these two young people’.
Daniel Miller was fined £416 with £126 in costs and charges and he was ordered to pay £100 compensation to Mr Whittemore.They told the youth that in their view his offending had ‘passed the custody threshold’ and he was sent for sentence to the Youth Court on March 12.