Rogue trader ordered to pay TV's Matthew Allright £50
A TV aerial salesman who attacked BBC Watchdog presenter Matthew Allwright by pouring a 'protein drink' over him was today ordered by magistrates in Telford to pay him £50 compensation.
Mark Smith, 42, drenched Mr Allwright in liquid as he left a Small Claims Court on September 11 last year.
The bizarre incident was captured by the TV cameras and was featured on the programme which aired on BBC1 on September 26.
Smith pleaded guilty to one count of assault by beating when he appeared at Telford Magistrates Court.
He was given a two-year conditional discharge and ordered to pay the 42-year-old presenter, who did not attend court, £50 compensation.
The court heard Smith's TV aerial business had collapsed after the clip of the confrontation went viral on the internet.
Chairman of the bench David Gibbons told Smith: "We have decided this is in the lower scale of this offence.
"We are sentencing you to a conditional discharge lasting for two years for the offence of assault by beating. You are not being punished today, however should you commit an offence in the next two years you may be punished for this offence as well as the new one."
The court was earlier shown footage from the Rogue Traders segment of Watchdog which showed Smith being approached by Mr Allwright while leaving Redditch County Court.
Smith turned and emptied a bottle of liquid over Mr Allwright before a heated argument ensued as Smith, of Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, was quizzed about ripping off past customers.
In the film, Mr Allwright is heard asking Smith if the yellow liquid was urine but the court yesterday heard it was in fact a 'protein drink'.
Mike Phillips, prosecuting, said: "The defendant was approached at around 4.30pm on September 11 last year when he left the court by Mr Allwright and a camera crew filming him.
"Mr Smith turned and tipped a bottle of liquid over Mr Allwright's face, the bottle was a Volvic mineral water bottle.
"By using the bottle this constitutes an application of force and therefore constitutes battery."
Sharon Bahia, defending, said Smith, who has one previous conviction for ABH in 1989, had lost his business as result of the incident.
Smith was also ordered to pay £100 costs.
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