South Shields mum abused takeaway staff after downing bottle of pink gin and two vodkas

A ‘nasty’ mum drunk on pink gin and vodka shouted vile racist abuse at town centre takeaway staff in a row over change, a court heard.

Rebecca Hepplewhite, 28, also punched a protective screen and leapt onto the counter in an outburst of intimidation at Dixie Chicken in Fowler Street, South Shields.

Hepplewhite, of Alnwick Street, South Shields, called an employee a racist name among other sickening abuse hurled at 8.30pm on Monday, July 13.

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She did not even know a second woman who sparked the confrontation by claiming she had not been given her change after ordering a bite.

Dixie Chicken in Fowler Street, South Shields.

Prosecutor Clare Irving told magistrates in South Tyneside: “This defendant and another came into the shop and paid for their food.

“An employee hands the change over to the other woman and that’s when this defendant began shouting for her change, she became aggressive.”

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Ms Irving said the shop had a screen up for protection from Covid and Hepplewhite punched the screen, making one victim scared.

The prosecutor said the manager then came out to address the problem and Hepplewhite jumped up onto the counter twice, and shouted racist abuse.

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Ms Irving added: “She admitted to police that she had had a bottle of pink gin and two vodkas, and that drink made her nasty.

“She said she had met up with a girl and a boy who she didn’t know and had gone to the shop with them.

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“She admitted that she had called the man a [racist name].

“She denied punching the screen, but admitted to being drunk and out of control.”

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David Forrester, defending, told the court: “This lady has clearly acted in a way that is different to her normal standards.

“She says that she didn’t know the other woman, she was just there. She doesn’t seek to excuse her behaviour in any shape or form.”

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Hepplewhite, who was last before the courts in 2016, pleaded guilty to causing racially aggravated fear of violence.

Her case was adjourned for probation reports to be made and she will be sentenced at the same court on Tuesday, April 20.

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