Colney Heath men ordered to pay £1,500 compensation after row over chicken at McDonald’s

St Albans Crown Court

St Albans Crown Court - Credit: Archant

A row over a piece of chicken has been costly for two men after a judge ordered them each to pay £1,500 compensation to a man they beat up.

St Albans Crown Court heard on Monday (12) that the victim had taken some chicken from one of the men, both of Colney Heath, and did not return it, while dining at McDonald’s at The Galleria in Hatfield.

Charlie Keen, 21, of Tollgate Road, and Luke Wiffen, 20, of High Street in the village, had been drinking with the victim before they went on to McDonald’s in the Galleria at 2am on December 27, 2014.

Anger among the trio escalated and the man who had taken the piece of chicken hit Wiffen. Charlie Keen then hit the victim twice and Wiffen hit him four times.

The victim suffered a fractured left eye socket and a broken nose.


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Keen and Wiffen appeared for sentencing at the Crown Court having earlier pleaded guilty to causing actual bodily harm.

In a basis of plea, accepted by the prosecution, the two men said they had used excessive force in self defence but had not deliberately kicked out at the victim.

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Both men were of previous good character and are working.

Judge John Plumstead told them: “You have behaved decently since you sobered up. You should never have lost your self control and your temper. The victim got badly smashed up.”

He ordered them each to pay the victim £1,500 compensation. They must also carry out 120 hours’ unpaid work and pay £500 costs.

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