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Tim Hortons coin thrower found guilty of assault

09/04/2013 04:03 EDT | Updated 11/04/2013 05:12 EST
A New Brunswick man who threw coins at a Tim Hortons employee after she told him he was short 11 cents to pay for his medium double double has been found guilty of assault and breach of probation.

Roy Gilmore, 49, of Pennfield, was captured on video surveillance during the noon hour incident last October at the Quispamsis location, the Saint John provincial courtroom heard on Wednesday.

Katelyn Blair took Gilmore's order, then told him the price — $1.70. But Gilmore could only produce $1.59.

Blair testified that Gilmore was "mean" and said: "For all the times I come in and have given you tips, you couldn't even give me a [expletive] coffee."

He took a step to leave, she said, but then threw the coins at her, striking her cheek, her shoulder and another server.

Blair, then 21 years old and a supervisor, reported the incident to the Rothesay Regional Police Force the following day.

She said she didn't want anyone else to have to go through the same experience, particularly someone younger whose life could be "ruined."

"I was scared to go back to work. I was scared he would come back in and do something even worse. But eventually, I got over that. I had to go back to work. It wasn't optional," she told CBC News outside the courtroom.

"We're people just like everybody else. We're just doing a job.… It was just not necessary, what happened."

Blair said she excused herself shortly after the incident, then went out behind the building and cried.

'Having a bad day'

As a supervisor, who had been working for Tim Hortons for about a year, her job was to make sure things ran smoothly and that customers were served accurately, she said.

Blair did not know who Gilmore was and could not identify him, but police posted the surveillance video of the incident on Facebook, which was viewed by thousands of people and eventually led to a photo lineup. Blair picked out Gilmore "hands down," an officer had previously testified.

Blair, who still works for Tim Hortons, told the courtroom Gilmore seemed to be having a bad day that day and took it out on her.

Gilmore, who sat silently throughout the proceedings, did not address the court.

Defence lawyer Peter Teed said Gilmore did not intend to hurt Blair.

He didn't throw the money at her, but was throwing it past her, Teed said.

Judge Andrew LeMesurier wasn't convinced. He found Gilmore guilty of assault and guilty of violating the conditions of a two-year probation order he was under at the time for a previous offence.

A sentencing hearing will be held on Oct. 15.

The judge has requested a pre-sentence report and victim impact statement.

Crown prosecutor Kelly Winchester said she will be seeking jail time.

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