A student who spat in a barista’s face at a Pret a Manger after attending a ‘weed day’ event was let off with a £110 fine.
Michael Petrou, 18, smoked ‘a few joints’ at the 420 Cannabis Rally in Hyde Park before ranting about ‘organic’ ingredients at the fastfood outlet on Oxford Street on 20 April.
More than 1,000 people had gathered at the event to mark 4/20, smoking reefers together while calling for cannabis to be legalised.
Petrou claimed he spotted a megaphone-wielding ‘preacher’ from the event and followed him upstairs before embarking on a 10 minute tirade against Pret a Manger.
Staff overheard Petrou screaming: ‘You don’t know the truth about Pret, they don’t use organic food.’
When Petrou came back down to the counter holding a baguette, barista Loris Lucchetta applauded and said: ‘Thank you for the show.’
But the student shouted ‘w*nker’ and snarled: ‘If you weren’t behind the till I would punch you.’
He then launched two wads of spit into Mr Lucchetta’s face before being hauled out of the store.
Prosecutor Edward Aydin said: ‘He spat directly in the face of the victim, and the victim there couldn’t believe what had happened and just stood there.
‘He then continued to shout and abuse the victim and then spat again a second time on the face, it landed on the face of the victim.’
Petrou fled the scene but admitted spitting on Mr Lucchetta and said he would apologise to him during his police interview.
He claimed he had been in a ‘bad mood’ after arguing with his girlfriend when he went to Hyde Park with thousands of fellow dope enthusiasts campaigning to reform cannabis laws.
Petrou maintained that staff had ‘patronised’ him and swore at him before the incident.
Mr Aydin said: ‘Mr Lucchetta stated he clapped his hands as Mr Petrou came downstairs and said ‘thank you for the show’ and he says he meant this as a joke, he didn’t want to offend him.
‘He thought he was making a spectacle.’
Petrou admitted common assault but let out an audible gasp and exclaimed ‘lies’ as Mr Aydin outlined the facts of the case at Westminster Magistrates’ Court.
‘He was there calling out w*nker towards the victim,’ said Mr Aydin.
‘W*nker w*nker w*nker, he said, shouting ‘f**k you’ repeatedly.’
Petrou interrupted: ‘I swear on my mother’s grave you are lying. That’s funny, oh my God, that’s funny.’
Mr Aydin said: ‘I’m not sure if God is part of this case but i you just please be quiet because I can’t concentrate on what I’m reading here.
‘This is the accurate statement of the victim in this matter.’
The court heard that since 2013 Petrou has received four cautions for possessing class B drugs, including cannabis, and another for possessing MDMA.
Chair of the bench Angela Cahill fined him £110 and ordered him to pay £50 compensation to Mr Lucchetta.
She said: ‘This is a frightening incident, not only for the barista that was spat at, but also for the members of the public that use this Pret a Manger.
‘There would have been some children and other people witnessing this act, for a long duration.’
Petrou, of Belmont Avenue, Palmers Green, north London, must also pay £85 prosecution costs and a £50 victim surcharge.