Shop wars over car parking space leads to attack

Shonagh Dillon

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A KEBAB shop owner has appeared in court following a fight that saw him attack a nearby newsagent in a row over parking.

Cuma Sonmez, of High Street, Gosport, appeared at Fareham Magistrates Court charged with assaulting Krunar Patel on October 22.

The court heard how 49-year old Sonmez, who runs Brothers Kebab and Pizza, had got into the fight after approaching Mr Patel about his car, which was blocking the exit from the car park at the back of the shops.

Sonmez, who speaks very little English, went into the newsagents to ask Mr Patel to move his car so that he could make takeaway deliveries.

Defending, Caroline Cabral said that it was not the first time that there had been problems with the car park, which had been having a detrimental impact on Sonmez’s delivery business.

Ms Cabral said Sonmez accepted he may have come across as abrupt when entering the newsagents.

She said: ‘His English is broken. He said “brother, please move car.” He accepts his voice is deep and it may have sounded abrupt but he didn’t mean it to.’

The court heard that a group of people who were in the newsagents started to laugh at Sonmez and say that he was in the wrong, which had made him feel upset.

Sonmez then told Mr Patel to go outside, which Ms Cabral said was so that they could have a conversation away from the people who could have been customers and so that Sonmez could show him the parked car.

Once outside, the argument became heated and Sonmez picked up a kebab pole and brandished it at Mr Patel. He then struck Mr Patel once.

Ms Cabral said: ‘He accepts that he was angry and he feels that the others in the shop were quite rude. He knows he should not have taken the bait and just stayed calm.’

The prosecution argued that for Sonmez to have the kebab pole, then there was a degree of premeditation. Sonmez admitted the assault but said that he picked up the pole from a nearby waste bin on the spur of the moment.

Sonmez was given a 12-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £85 court costs and a £15 victim surcharge. The magistrates also ordered the destruction of the kebab pole.

Magistrates’ chairman Malcom Hogg said: ‘We now hope the atmosphere between the two businesses improves.’