Ipswich burger bar owner scared to go to work after customer scalded his arm with hot soup

The burn on Mr Addison's arm caused by Steven Hill

The burn on Mr Addison's arm caused by Steven Hill - Credit: Archant

An Ipswich burger van owner has been left afraid of going to work after his arm was badly burned when a customer splashed soup over it.

Unemployed builder Steven Hill, of Weaver Close, Ipswich, pleaded guilty before South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court to assaulting Christopher Addison causing him actual bodily harm

Hill also admitted criminal damage to sauce bottles and other property valued at £20.

The incident occurred at a burger bar in Lloyds Avenue on February 27 when the 51-year-old was drunk at the end of a night out.

Prosecutor David Bryant said Hill appeared to lose his temper and throw tomato soup towards Mr Addison after telling him it was s***. Mr Addison’s right arm was scalded as a result.

Mr Bryant read out a victim personal statement from Mr Addison during the hearing.

Part of it stated: “I was in terrible pain from having soup chucked on my right arm. The skin blistered straightaway.”

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The court was told it was the second time within a short period that Mr Addison had been involved in a violent incident at his van.

He said he is now afraid to go to work, but must do so to earn a living.

Mr Addison also said in his statement: “This has really affected my family in that my mum, partner and children are worried about me when I go to work.

“I no longer feel safe in the job I do. I have thought about giving the job up, but I have to provide for my family.”

The court had previously heard that after criticising Mr Addison’s soup Hill had said he did not want the burger he had also ordered.

Mr Addison told Hill to stop swearing at him and to wait for his food as he had already paid for it.

Hill seemed to lose his temper and soup ended up on Mr Addison’s arm. Sauce bottles were also thrown about, magistrates heard.

Despite Mr Addison’s injury he restrained Hill until police arrived.

Mr Addison estimated he had lost £200 to £300 in takings that night as a result of the incident and paid £20 to get a taxi to hospital.

Larissa Hutson, for Hill, said: “He stands before you deeply ashamed about his behaviour.

“Mr Hill is at pains to say there was no intention on his part to deliberately throw the tomato soup.

“He was intoxicated and had a lot to drink that evening.”

Hill was sentenced to a 12-month community order with 150 hours of unpaid work. He must pay Mr Addison £500 compensation, £85 costs and £60 to the victims’ fund.