Irate man in wheelchair spat in face of supermarket security guard

A security guard at the New World supermarket, Onekawa, Napier was the victim of Sean Berridge-Burley's abuse.

GOOGLE A security guard at the New World supermarket, Onekawa, Napier was the victim of Sean Berridge-Burley’s abuse.

A supermarket security guard trying to assist a wheelchair user was abused and got spat in the face.

Sean Berridge-Burley, 57, rode his electric wheelchair towards the main doors of the New World supermarket at Onekawa, Napier, on the afternoon of March 17 last year.

Berridge-Burley had previously been trespassed from the supermarket.

As he approached the building he was gesticulating with his middle finger and yelling abuse at a security guard on the door.

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The security guard tried to talk with Berridge-Burley about the trespass notice, but he ignored him and continued yelling.

According to court documents, when the security guard leaned over to converse with Berridge-Burley, he became more aggressive and spat in the security guard’s face.

“You’ve just spat in my face,” the security guard said to Berridge-Burley.

Judge Kevin Phillips sentenced Berridge-Burley in the Napier District Court on Monday. (File photo)

Stacy Squires/Stuff Judge Kevin Phillips sentenced Berridge-Burley in the Napier District Court on Monday. (File photo)

Berridge-Burley then squirted a bottle of water at the security guard, saturating his clothing.

He then rode away while continuing to yell abuse.

When police located Berridge-Burley and tried to speak to him, he told them to “f… off”.

Berridge-Burley pleaded guilty to a charge of assault and appeared in Napier District Court on Monday.

His lawyer, Kila Pedder, told Judge Kevin Phillips that Berridge-Burley had felt intimidated.

He had bipolar affective disorder and regretted his actions that day, Pedder said.

Judge Phillips acknowledged the issues Berridge-Burley was dealing with but said they did not “give him the rights to do what he has been doing”.

He said the offending was “alarming” and “very, very frightening” for the victim, who was only trying to assist.

The judge said the victim had described being spat in the face as “the worst thing I think someone can do to me”.

“I feel degraded more than anything. I was only being friendly and trying to do my job,” the guard said in victim impact statement.

The victim had to pay £20 for blood tests following the incident and all he was asking was for reparation and for Berridge-Burley to receive the help he needed.

Berridge-Burley was ordered to pay the reparation and was sentenced to 12 months’ intensive supervision.

Earlier this month Berridge-Burley was given the same sentence after admitting a charge of arson. He set fire to his neighbour’s house after becoming angry at the noise made by a shower door closing.

“Any further acts of this kind, however, Mr Berridge-Burley, I think the court will be required to consider the issue of safety to the community.

It may be very much more difficult, sentencing-wise, for you,” the judge said.




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