A car salesman has lost his job after he threatened to shoot his colleagues with a shotgun during a showroom brawl over a football sticker.
John Thompson went ‘off his head’ after a spirited work debate over a Liverpool FC sticker sparking a major spat at Ron Brooks Suzuki in Mansfield,
The salesman launched an expletive laden tirade at co-workers before the ugly brawl became physical.
It took five men to break up the scrap and the 51-year-old has now appeared at Mansfield Magistrates’ Court, where he pleaded guilty to two counts of assault as well as making threats and resisting an officer.
Prosecutor Becky Allsop told the court that the defendant had become ‘irate’ following ‘ongoing banter’ in relation to the Liverpool striker.
The issue came to a head on October 24, when Thompson is said to have tossed the keys to his company car at a sales manager before telling him ‘Now I don’t work here I can sort that c*** out and all his mates.’
The Derbyshire Times reports that he then went on to abuse his colleagues, calling them ‘p*****’ and shouting ‘We will go outside and fight like men. I will smash your f****** head in’.
The court heard that he then grabbed one man by the throat before shoving him into some nearby tool lockers and punching him in the mouth.
When a quintet of horrified employees stepped in to stop the attack, one was struck in the head by Thompson, who broke his glasses.
According to Allsop, the defendant was then heard to shout: ‘You’re all mugs. I will take you all and smash your faces in. I will bring a shotgun at 5pm.’
This threat was followed by a phone call – overheard by workers – in which he asked somebody ‘What tools have you got?’
In response to the request, a male voice was heard telling Thompson: ‘I will find something and be right there.’
An employee at the dealership later said he had been ‘alarmed’ by the interaction as he was under the impression that the salesman had access to firearms.
He also said that he was ‘fearful of reprisals because of Thompson’s connections with Travellers.’
Following the incident, police were called to the scene – eventually tracking down Thompson on the nearby Southwell Road West.
However, far from coming quietly, the furious car dealer refused to be put in cuffs and instead grabbed hold of a nearby fence to stop himself being taken away.
He was eventually arrested after being hit several times and having PAVA spray used on him by officers.
A later search of his home uncovered cannabis in his garden shed and he was also charged with possession of the class B drug.
In mitigation, Thompson’s lawyer – Donna Pursglove – said the dad-of-two was suffering from a breakdown, brought on by family pressures and his father’s death.
She added: ‘The altercation was not completely unprovoked. He fully accepts this should never have happened. He was immediately sacked.’
Thompson will return to court to be sentenced on November 21.