'Dumb sl*t': Drunk's appalling abuse of Maccas staff

HORRID verbal abuse of young staff at a McDonald's restaurant by a drunk dad was so appalling an Ipswich Magistrate told him to stay home if he can't behave himself.

Shame-faced dad John Fearon appeared before Magistrate Virginia Sturgess, who told him his language was disgusting, and that if his children ever worked in a similar establishment he would not like them to be subject to such abuse.

Prosecutor, Senior Constable Dave Shelton said Fearon, was one of two males who ordered a meal in the McDonald's Booval drive-through at 1.30am on April 12.

The abuse began shortly after staff asked Fearon to wait a while as they finished serving another burger customer.

John Fearon's horrid verbal abuse of McDonalds young staff was criticised in an Ipswich court.
John Fearon's horrid verbal abuse of McDonalds young staff was criticised in an Ipswich court. Ross Irby

John David Fearon, 35, of Karana Downs, pleaded guilty to committing public nuisance.

Snr Const Shelton said the worker was told to "f***ing hurry up" multiple times.

The verbal abuse continued with staff saying he (and his friend) would not be served because of their abusive manner.

Fearon then got out of the car and walked inside the restaurant to the front counter to order his food.

When the meal was delivered Fearon again became abusive, saying the food was cold and should be replaced free of charge.

Fearon began yelling at a female duty manager, calling her "a dumb sl*t" and telling her to "go f*** herself".

His abuse was carried out in front of staff and customers.

Police were called and arrived to find Fearon intoxicated. At the time he was on a probation order for another public nuisance offence.

Defence lawyer Bill Leather said Fearon admitted using profanities, saying he'd been with another male in the car at the drive-through who was being abusive.

And when inside the restaurant, Fearon believed staff had forgotten his meal.

"It was going cold and he just lost it," Mr Leather said.

Ms Sturgess said Fearon had been highly intoxicated and she questioned the reliability of his recollections.

She said sober McDonald's staff would be more reliable.

"No, the staff wouldn't lie about it," Mr Leather said.

The court heard Fearon was now attending Alcoholics Anonymous and a psychologist for assistance.

Mr Leather said the former tree lopper had lost his job after also losing his driver's licence and alcohol abuse had been a long-term problem.

"When he doesn't go on a bender and is sober he is a good member of the community," Mr Leather said.

Ms Sturgess told Fearon that if his drinking was such a problem, "if you can't control it stay home" and avoid making the lives of others miserable by his bad behaviour.

"It is just appalling behaviour," she said.

"Young staff should not have to put up with such appalling behaviour.

"They should not have to be treated this way. One day your children may be working as young teenagers.

"I would hope that you would be shocked, appalled, if a drunken adult came in and called them a dumb s**t."

Ms Sturgess convicted and fined him $750.


How to benefit from Building Better Regions Fund

premium_icon How to benefit from Building Better Regions Fund

Llew O’Brien has urged Wide Bay’s drought-affected communities to act fast to...

MAP: Must-see Christmas lights in the South Burnett

premium_icon MAP: Must-see Christmas lights in the South Burnett

From fairy lights to nativity scenes and reindeer in front yards, here is a list of...

St John’s celebrates their parents’ hard work

premium_icon St John’s celebrates their parents’ hard work

St John’s Lutheran School hosts a complimentary pop-up coffee shop to show their...