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Tiffin Box owner in Hythe punched in the face when Daniel O’Hare and Samantha Hatcher's blind date turns into chaos

A restaurant owner was punched in the face during a violent flare-up between a couple on a blind date.

Daniel O’Hare, 34, pleaded guilty to common assault and using threatening behaviour following the incident at the Tiffin Box in Hythe High Street on Thursday May 4.

Co-accused Samantha Hatcher, 26, pleaded guilty to two counts of common assault and criminal damage at a previous hearing.

Folkestone Magistrates' Court
Folkestone Magistrates' Court

Folkestone Magistrates heard how O’Hare and Hatcher were on “some kind of blind date” at the Indian restaurant when they began rowing among themselves and staff.

Neil Sweeney, prosecuting, said O’Hare stole a bottle of wine, threatened to kill staff members and their families, then punched owner Aivars Arkmentins in the face.

The court heard Hatcher, of Dymchurch Road, Hythe, assaulted two men and smashed a glass in the same incident.

In a statement read out by Mr Sweeney, Mr Arkmentins admitted he still has pain in his jaw and said: “I never expected to get assaulted in the work place.”

The shocking scenes unfolded while O’Hare was on the cusp of a heavy drinking binge following a disagreement with his ex-girlfriend, the court heard.

"I never expected to get assaulted in the work place" - Aivars Arkmentins

Defending, Hugh Roberts said O’Hare, of Vancouver Road, Dover, suffered a history of mental health problems, including post traumatic stress disorder, following a childhood trauma.

Jane Britton, O’Hare’s probation officer told the court: “He is getting help from his general practitioner and I believe he is on the right track.”

O’Hare told the court: “I’m sorry for what I have done.”

Magistrate Robert Godfrey told O’Hare: “The people that you assaulted and abused have rights, rights to live a quiet and comfortable life.”

He ordered O’Hare to 100 hours community service, to pay a £234 fine and undergo an alcohol treatment plan.

Hatcher was handed 300 hours of unpaid work and a four-week curfew. She must also pay £289.

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