A FORMER soldier has been given a suspended prison sentence after being caught on camera trying to attack a pizza shop worker with a weapon.
A court was shown CCTV footage of Benjamin Conway trying to scale the counter at Fat Olives fast food shop in order to get to his victim.
Leeds Crown Court heard the incident took place after a spate of anti-social behaviour outside the premises on Tong Road, Armley.
Phillip Morris, prosecuting, said the incident happened on May 17 this year when the victim went outside the shop and asked Conway to stop screaming. Mr Morris said: “A conversation occurred, during which the defendant told the complainant that he would do what he chose.”
Conway left but returned and threw a bottle at the victim. The victim retreated back inside the premises but Conway entered brandishing a metal pole and tried to attack him. The footage showed the victim running back behind the counter before Conway attempted to jump over and attack him. He then left the premises but was arrested after police were called. During interview he told officers he had been drinking at the time and reacted after the victim had “got in his face” during their conversation.
He said he would have “taken it on the chin” and left the scene if he had been on his own but reacted violently because he would have looked a “div” in front of his friends. Conway, of Landseer Mount, Bramley, pleaded guilty to affray and possession of an offensive weapon. Adam Brikby, mitigating, said Conway had behaved out of character.
He said his client had been medically discharged from the army due to a blood infection but was hoping to return to the forces.
Conway was given a six months sentence, suspended for 12 months, and ordered to do 200 hours unpaid work.