Father pushed shopper to the floor in Sainsbury's after parenting row

Sainsbury's in Bedingfield Way, Bury St Edmunds

Sainsbury's in Bedingfield Way, Bury St Edmunds - Credit: Google Maps

A father who pushed a man to the floor in a Suffolk supermarket after a row about the behaviour of his young son has been ordered to pay compensation. 

Suffolk Magistrates' Court heard how Ashley Ruffles, 34, was shopping in Sainsbury's in Bury St Edmunds with his nine-year-old son at around 1pm on July 18 last year. 

Ruffles' son then began behaving badly in the store, and an argument ensued with a man who had told him to get his son under control, the court heard. 

Ruffles then forcefully pushed the man to the back with two hands and the victim fell to the supermarket floor. 

The man sustained minor injuries in the incident, including grazing to his head and bruising to his knee, David Bryant, prosecuting, told the court. 

The victim did not require any medical treatment, the court heard. 

The incident was captured on the store's CCTV and was played to the court. 

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In police interview, Ruffles told officers that the man had pushed his son and he had retaliated, but there was no evidence of this on the CCTV, Mr Bryant told the court. 

Ruffles, of Wagtail Drive, Bury St Edmunds, pleaded guilty to assault by beating at Suffolk Magistrates' Court on Friday. 

He had no previous convictions, the court heard. 

Kelly Fernandez-Lee, mitigating, told the court that Ruffles' son is currently undergoing some tests with regard to ADHD. 

She said an argument took place at the supermarket and Ruffles had reacted after effectively being called "a bad parent" by the man. 

Miss Fernandez-Lee added that Ruffles is married and in employment. 

Deputy District Judge David Hawgood told Ruffles that he appreciated how difficult it was to manage "challenging behaviours" and he took into account that Ruffles had no previous convictions. 

But he added Ruffles' "acute frustration" had caused him to lose control and act in the way he did. 

The deputy district judge handed Ruffles a two-year conditional discharge, and ordered him to pay £500 in compensation to the victim. 

Ruffles was also told he must pay £85 in court costs, but was not ordered to pay a victim surcharge.