Aaron Alfred William Chatfield pleaded guilty in Maroochydore Magistrates Court on Monday after spitting in the face of a Foot Locker employee. Picture: Laura Pettigrew
Aaron Alfred William Chatfield pleaded guilty in Maroochydore Magistrates Court on Monday after spitting in the face of a Foot Locker employee. Picture: Laura Pettigrew

Dad spits in Foot Locker worker’s face

A Coast man spat on a retail manager's face and attempted to punch him after refusing to sanitise his hands upon entering a Foot Locker store, a court has heard.

Aaron Alfred William Chatfield pleaded guilty in Maroochydore Magistrates Court on Monday to two counts of common assault, one of unlicensed driving and failing to appear in accordance with an undertaking.

Police prosecutor Brendan Newman told the court Chatfield became aggressive when he was asked by a Foot Locker employee to sanitise his hands upon entering the Cairns store on June 30.

"The male refused to sanitise and began arguing with Lee (Foot Locker employee), Lee repeatedly told him to lower his voice, but the male tried to call out Lee for a fight," he said.

Sergeant Newman said witnesses heard Chatfield say the Foot Locker employee "should f--- back off to China and he was spreading the coronavirus".

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Sergeant Newman said the victim and manager of the store later attempted to explain the sanitising policy to Chatfield outside of the store.

"The female, who was with the male begun arguing with him (the victim) saying it was their right to decide whether they sanitise or not … the same male who was standing behind the female has then swung a punch at the victim which has missed," he said.

"An argument then began until the male … lunged forward and spat on the victim hitting him on the face just under the eye."

Sergeant Newman said a verbal argument, which continued after the angry manager followed Chatfield into a parking lot, was stopped by security guards.

Chatfield, who told police he was on holidays in Cairns at the time of the offending, also drove unlicensed on June 6 and failed to appear on September 2.

Chatfield's lawyer Steven Brough said the 39-year-old father accepted his behaviour was "despicable and horrid".

He said Chatfield regretted his actions and was mindful a period of imprisonment was in range.

Magistrate Rod Madsen said spitting was a "degrading and awful thing to do" made worse by the current coronavirus climate and Chatfield's refusal to abide by safety measures.

Mr Madsen said racial comments were also an aggravating feature to Chatfield's offending.

Chatfield was sentenced to eight months in jail with an immediate parole release date and was ordered to pay $600 compensation to the victim.

He was also fined $600 and was disqualified from driving for three months.