Edinburgh McDonald’s worker tells bottle victim: ‘I’ll phone the police after I’ve served this customer’

The victim of an assault at McDonald’s in London Road has told how staff watched the attack but failed to call the police or an ambulance.

Ian Paton, 30, called in at the fast food outlet for a chicken burger on the way to his girlfriend’s in Willowbrae after finishing his work as a bouncer in the city centre. But another customer punched him repeatedly and hit him over the head with a bottle.

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Mr Paton said the response by McDonald’s had been “utterly disgusting and disappointing”.

Ian Paton, who was attacked in McDonald's on London Road . Picture: TSPL

He said: “All members of staff and other customers stood and watched me being attacked and after the assault the manager served another customer’s order. I had to phone myself an ambulance along with police to report the incident.”

McDonald’s has now been stripped of its 24-hour licence for the restaurant after the city council’s licensing sub-committee heard about the assault, which occurred around 3.45am on July 16 last year.

Mr Paton said: “I had just finished my work and I went to McDonald’s to get food and there were three guys standing next to me. They were just mucking about. They had obviously been out drinking. They weren’t bothering me at first. Then my food was ready to collect and one of the guys just started eating my food.

“At first I didn’t realise it was mine and then I realised it was. I said, ‘You’ve just eaten my food - are you going to pay for it?’ And he said ‘Naw’. I said ‘Well you are, you’ve just eaten my food’.

“Then his pal came up to me and said, ‘He’s not paying for your f***ing food’ and headbutted me. I stumbled into the self-pay machine. He started punching me, I fell into one of the booths, he just continuously punched me, I’ve got my hands covering my head, I fell against the self-pay machine again and that’s when I felt the bottle. He hit me four times with the bottle.

“After that they left. I said to the manager, ‘Are you going to phone the police?’ and she said, ‘Yes, I’ll phone them after I’ve served this customer’.

“As soon as she said that I started going ballistic. I said, ‘You’re actually going to serve a customer before phoning the police when an assault has just taken place?’”

Mr Paton said the manager did not seem to know what to do.

“I was trying to speak to the McDonald’s staff. None of them wanted to speak to me, none of them wanted to help me. I said to the manager, ‘Who’s first aid trained?’ She said the managers were and she went to the back office and never came back out.

I phoned the police and they said ‘Do you need an ambulance as well?’

“The police came and took a statement. The ambulance came and they checked me over in the back of the ambulance but there were no cuts - the bottle hadn’t broken.

“I went home, slept for a couple of hours, woke up, started feeling dizzy so took myself up to hospital and they said I was still concussed. I had to take a couple of days off work.

“I got my money back, which was nice of them, and I got free food.

“I was more annoyed about the fact McDonald’s never did anything. I work in security so I know people are not expected to step in, but the least they could do is phone the police.

“I phoned McDonald’s head office and complained to them. They said they would look into it and be back in touch with me, but I’ve never heard anything from them.”

A spokesman for MacDonald’s claimed staff were following the company’s specific process for incidents and attempts were being made to contact the police.

“While the customer may not have seen it, police were being contacted by a manager in the office until it became apparent the customer in question was already speaking with the police, at which point the call was ended.”

He said two first-aid trained managers were in the restaurant at the time and he claimed support was offered but refused.

“We subsequently cooperated fully with the police while they investigated, and shared CCTV footage of the incident.”

“We are aware of some antisocial behaviour issues which are impacting the surrounding area. We have introduced a number of initiatives over the last 12 months which have very effectively addressed many issues and prevented situations occurring in our restaurant.”

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