by Telegraph Reporters
A curry house owner attacked a customer by throwing chilli powder in his eyes after a complaint about rubbery chicken, a court heard.
Chef Kamrul Islam, 47, has gone on trial at Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court, accused of causing David Evans actual bodily harm while he was dining at the Prince of Bengal in Tonypandy, South Wales, on January 21 2017.
Opening the case on Monday, Stephen Donaghue, for the prosecution, said Islam, who claims he acted in self-defence, started swearing at Mr Evans and his wife Michelle after they complained about their food.
“The prosecution case is that this defendant grabbed a handful of chilli powder and threw it in the face of David Evans, thereby causing him difficulties with his eyes.”
Mr Donaghue said: “It was reported to the waiter that they were not really happy and it was said that the chicken in particular was tough and rubbery.”
The court heard that the waiter left the table and returned with Islam, who asked them what the problem was in an “aggressive and difficult manner”.
The court heard Islam started swearing at the couple about the complaint and said: “It’s f—ing tandoori chicken.”
Mrs Evans then touched Islam’s arm before he said: “Don’t f—ing touch me” and walked towards the kitchen.
Islam accepted he threw the powder in police interviews but said he acted in self-defence in the alleged attack in January.
“Mr Evans was unhappy that his wife had been spoken to in that manner and was demanding an apology from him,” he said.
The court heard that Mr Evans followed Islam and stood in the doorway of the kitchen.
Mr Donaghue said: “It was at this point that the defendant had some chilli powder in his hand that he had acquired in the kitchen and then threw it in the face of Mr Evans.”
Islam’s attonry said “he picked the chilli powder up because he thought Mr Evans might throw a punch at him and, as he turned around, Mr Evans was forming his hand into a fist as if to punch him.
The victim was taken to hospital where a saline drip was used to clean his eyes and he was found to have suffered burns where the spice landed on him.
Islam, of Llewellyn Street, Pentre, was arrested later that night.