Actress avoids jail after assaulting restaurant boss as she called him 'a dirty ...

Actress avoids jail after assaulting restaurant boss as she called him 'a dirty ...
Actress avoids jail after assaulting restaurant boss as she called him 'a dirty ...

An actress who assaulted the manager of an upmarket fish and chip restaurant and returned two months later to attack the owner has avoided a jail term.

Sophie Gatacre, 57, who has performed at the Edinburgh fringe festival, called Hamza Ahmed ‘a dirty Bangladeshi man’ before slapping his face at The Chipping Forecast, in Notting Hill.

Weeks later she returned to the restaurant and assaulted the owner Timothy Haigh and swore at him in the street.

Gatacre, who has toured with her comedy play, Samantha's Hotline, as well as appearing in TV and film roles, was conditionally discharged for two years for the two assaults, fined £400 and ordered to pay her victims compensation.

Sophie Gatacre (pictured for her comedy play Samantha's Hotline) assaulted the manager of an upmarket fish and chip restaurant and returned two months later to attack the owner

Sophie Gatacre (pictured for her comedy play Samantha's Hotline) assaulted the manager of an upmarket fish and chip restaurant and returned two months later to attack the owner

Westminster Magistrates' Court heard the first assault, on Mr Ahmed, happened on May 29. 

As Mr Ahmed tried to set up tables and chairs outside, Gatacre blocked his way at the shop door and launched ‘a plethora of abuse’ at him, the court was told.

She then slapped his face and punched him in the chest but ran out of the eatery, screaming that Mr Ahmed had attacked her.    

Jonathan Bryan, prosecuting, said Gatacre called Mr Ahmed a dirty Bangladeshi man’ during the incident.

He said Gatacre was ‘screaming at the top of her lungs’ as she said: ‘You don’t belong here, this is my country. I can do what I like.’

Gatacre claimed she only mentioned Bangladesh because Joan Baez ‘sings a wonderful song called Bangladesh’.

In a statement, Mr Ahmed described the abuse as ‘very unpleasant’ as he had been racially abused in the past.

‘I

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