AN altercation in Iceland ended with a frozen curry flying through the air and striking an unsuspecting shop manager, a court has heard.

Joe Horwood appeared before magistrates in Swindon on Wednesday charged with assault by beating and using threatening or abusive words or behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress.

The 29-year-old, of Culvery Court, pleaded guilty to both charges. A third offence of criminal damage was withdrawn before proceedings got underway.

The court heard that Horwood had been in Iceland in Havelock Square on September 2 when the offences were committed.

Staff spotted Horwood, along with another man, making their way around the store. They believed him to be the same man who had been banned the previous day for attempting to shoplift.

A few minutes later, as Horwood was queueing at a till to pay, the duty manager informed the cashier that he was not to be served as he was banned. He was asked to leave.

Pauline Lambert, prosecuting, told the court that this caused a lively reaction from Horwood.

“At that, he flung a frozen chicken curry,” she said. “It struck the victim in the sternum and winded him.”

Horwood then moved towards the door of the store shouting and swearing in a manner that caused the duty manager to feel intimidated. He pulled over a shelf and dragged a long stack of trolleys across the door.

The police were called and Horwood was arrested.

Ms Lambert added: “In interview he said the curry flew from his hands, he said it was reckless and that is accepted.”

Emma Thacker, defending Horwood, told the court that he had been unaware of his ban and had “reacted rather badly when he was told to leave the store”.

She added: “He fully accepts that he was throwing his arms around. The frozen curry was in a sleeve and unfortunately it has flown out hitting the gentleman in the chest.

“It wasn’t intentional and he didn’t mean for it to happen.

“He is very apologetic for what’s happened and holds his hands up.”

The court heard that Horwood was already subject to a conditional discharge handed down in May in relation to an offence of making off without payment.

Magistrates opted to re-sentence that offence, fining him £30. He was also fined £70 for assaulting the duty manager with the curry and £30 for using the foul and abusive language.

He must pay a victim surcharge of £30 and compensation, to Iceland, of £1.50.