A man who threatened to kill an Aldi worker after taking a cocktail of alcohol and the drug monkey dust has been spared jail.
Andrew Loftus, 25, became aggressive when approached by staff at the branch in Norton Heights, Stoke-on-Trent, on 3 October.
North Staffordshire Justice Centre heard a manager was called to the shop floor by a colleague asking for assistance.
Prosecutor Christy Woods said: ‘The injured party went to help and saw the defendant, who was described as drunk and very aggressive.
‘He and another staff member approached the defendant and asked him to leave the store.
‘Words were exchanged between his colleague and the defendant, before Mr Loftus turned to the injured party and said: “I don’t know what you’re looking at, big chest, I will knock you out cold”.’
Loftus continued to pick items off the shelves as the staff members followed him around, the court heard.
Magistrates were told that he was saying ‘why are you harassing me, why are you following me around’ before telling the manager: ‘I will f****** kill you, you’re a mummy’s boy.’
Later in interview with Staffordshire police, he claimed he had little memory of the incident due to the effects of the alcohol and the monkey dust, a cheap synthetic drug with similar effects to Spice.
Simon Dykes, defending, told the court the pottery worker had been off work sick for weeks.
He said: ‘Sadly he suffered a relationship breakdown which hit him hard and he also suffered an injury to his knee.
‘He fell back into substance misuse and drink.
‘He has now accessed help under his own steam. He is genuinely sorry about his behaviour.’
Loftus, of Smallthorne, admitted using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour with intent to cause fear of or provoke unlawful violence.
He was given a 12-month community order with a 20-day rehabilitation activity requirement and a six-week 7pm to 7am curfew.
Magistrate Philip Taylor told him: ‘You made verbal threats to kill a member of staff in this Aldi store and you had taken alcohol and monkey dust.
‘This was not a very pleasant situation for the person to deal with.’
In addition, he was ordered to pay £225 in court costs and victim surcharge.