A man battered his mother-in-law following an argument about fish and chips, a court heard.
Pub landlord Andrew Quinn, 42, was boiling mad about the quality of the fried meal his mother-in-law brought home and launched into a savage attack which included an “inadvertent” kick to the head.
“The defendant took issue with the dinner that had been obtained and an argument began,” prosecutor Matthew Collins told York Crown Court.
Quinn, a strapping six-footer who ran the Station Hotel pub in Filey, aimed a volley of abuse at the elderly woman before pulling a chair out from under her. She fell to the floor and banged her head.
“When she got up, he began to square up against her,” added Mr Collins.
As Quinn got “into her face”, his “frightened” mother-in-law slapped him.
“In response, he hit her with a blow to the head which again knocked her to the floor,” said Mr Collins.
“The defendant is 6ft. His mother-in-law is 5ft 2in.”
Quinn - mighty in comparison with his diminutive mother-in-law - ended up scuffling on the floor with the “frightened” victim, who was named in court.
“During the scuffle, the defendant’s foot came into contact with her head, causing a cut,” said Mr Collins.
Quinn claimed it was unintentional, which was ultimately accepted by the prosecution.
Quinn’s wife, from whom he is now estranged, witnessed the incident and called 999 to get help for her mother.
Mr Collins said the phone call to police “clearly demonstrated she was distressed, but at one point the defendant took the phone from her and spoke to police, saying that they would have to catch him and that he was going on the run”.
“He then ended the call and broke (his wife’s) black iPhone in his hands,” added the prosecutor.
Police turned up at Quinn’s home in Filey and nabbed him as he was marching down the driveway.
“He became obstructive towards officers, claiming he had to go to work and would not be stopped,” said Mr Collins.
Quinn demanded officers show him a warrant and said he would refuse police entry to his house until one was produced.
He was duly arrested and charged with two counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm against his mother-in-law and damaging his wife’s phone.
He admitted criminal damage and pleaded guilty to the two ABH counts on the day his trial was due to be held four weeks ago.
Quinn, now of St Nicholas Street, Scarborough, appeared for sentence on Friday knowing jail was on the cards.
Mr Collins said Quinn had come home at tea-time when he kicked off about the quality of the “family dinner” that his mother-in-law had bought.
Divorce proceedings were now underway between Quinn and his wife, added the barrister.
The disgraced publican, who has a previous conviction for public disorder, was now living at a flat in Scarborough.
Defence barrister Camille Moreland urged judge Simon Hickey to suspend the inevitable jail sentence and described Quinn as a “hard-working man”.
Mr Hickey said he could spare Quinn an immediate jail sentence but only because the Crown had accepted his claim that he didn’t deliberately kick his mother-in-law in the head.
The judge blasted the pub landlord for his “disgraceful” behaviour over a “trivial argument about some fish and chips”.
“You ended up on the floor with a 5ft 2in mother-in-law,” added Mr Hickey. “You are 6ft yourself.”
The six-month prison sentence was suspended for a year. Quinn was also ordered to complete a 30-day rehabilitation course and pay £380 compensation to his wife for damaging her phone.
In addition, Mr Hickey imposed a restraining order banning Quinn from directly contacting the victims or entering streets in Filey and Wakefield where his wife and mother-in-law live.