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to think that there are too many selfish couples like this ruining people's meals with a screaming baby.

(116 Posts)
theinet Tue 28-Jun-11 21:21:27

Company director Clive Merrifield, 45, was enjoying an evening meal with partner Idalina Lucas when he politely suggested Billy West, 20, and his girlfriend put the wailing seven-month-old to bed.
West approached the couple's neighbouring table, pulled a bottle of white wine from their ice bucket and brought it down at 'full force' onto Mr Merrifield's skull in front of other customers.
The victim was left with a 'four inch ragged scar' on his scalp following the brutal assault at Parveen, an Indian Restaurant in Theberton Street, Islington, north London.
The former soldier fears the wound makes him look like a thug and is anxious about his image with employees and clients, Blackfriars Crown Court heard.
Karen Robinson, prosecuting, said the clash took place shortly after 10pm on October 9 last year after the baby had been crying for up to half an hour.
West was sitting at a table with his young family and another man, and Mr Merrifield and Ms Lucas were at the next.
'The baby was crying and the lady was seen to get up and down and make moves in an effort to comfort the baby,' said the barrister.
'It was described as consistent and persistent and went on for about 15 to 30 minutes.
'Other customers were looking in the direction of the baby during the course of this period.
'Mr Merrifield said he had had a couple of drinks but describes himself as sober.'
The prosecutor said Mr Merrifield became 'frustrated by the crying and put his head in his hands', and told Ms Lucas: 'I've had enough.'
The victim stood up, approached West's party and said: 'It's a quiet restaurant. We're trying to have a quiet dinner and your baby's not stopped crying.
'Maybe your baby is tired?'
Witnesses described his tone as 'polite and reasonable', but nontheless West's girlfriend held the child aloft and said sarcastically: 'It's a baby.'
Mr Merrifield suggested the tot 'ought to be in bed', prompting West and the second man to stand up and invite him to settle the matter 'outside'.
Staff asked them to leave the restaurant and West was ushered towards the door.
But they 'continued to remonstrate with staff' and CCTV shows West returning to Mr Merrifield, who had stayed sitting down.
'He took a glass wine bottle from its ice bucket and hit him to the back of the head, smashing it on impact,' said the prosecutor.
A witness described West taking the weapon 'high and behind his head and taking aim, bringing it down with full force'.
Mr Merrifield said he 'felt a blow' to the back of his head which left him 'shocked, stunned and disorientated'.
West simply walked to the door and left the premises.
The vicitm was taken to hospital where he was given an emergency x-ray and 16 stitches.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 28-Jun-11 21:49:00

YABU of course ... One aggressive pair of thugs with a baby doesn't equal 'too many selfish couples'.

PumpkinBones Tue 28-Jun-11 21:51:12


tazmin Tue 28-Jun-11 21:51:50

heard that earlier on the radio

the photo of him in the daily mail does him no favours, hope he gets a long sentence

BornInAfrica Tue 28-Jun-11 21:53:10

Here's to more restaurants being baby-free. There's really nothing worse than a shrieking baby when you're paying good money for a meal and there are plenty of child friendly places they could go.

tethersend Tue 28-Jun-11 21:55:40

Err, I'm not sure it was the screaming baby which ruined Mr Merrifield's meal, TBH.

On balance, I think that accolade goes to the psycho who hit him with a wine bottle.

MirandaGoshawk Tue 28-Jun-11 21:56:20

How awful. That man could have died. This goes beyond 'selfish' though. They (well, He) sounds as if he couldn't give a toss about his baby. Along with being a thug.

EricNorthmansMistress Tue 28-Jun-11 21:57:33

For fuck sake! One psychotic cunt who assaults someone doesn't equal 'too many selfish couples'


GwendolineMaryLacey Tue 28-Jun-11 21:58:42

Yep, entirely the fault of the screaming baby....hmm

SallyTomato Tue 28-Jun-11 21:59:21

I don't think the baby was the problem.

The maniac with the bottle was the problem.

FWIW crying babies don't bother me. Parents were probably desperate for a break.

SuiGeneris Tue 28-Jun-11 22:03:43

YABVVU, The solution is NOT to assume all parents are rude and inconsiderate and therefore to be relegated to family restaurants. Just exclude all rude people from restaurants; noisy children, drunk adults...

jetsetlil Tue 28-Jun-11 22:04:13

REstaurants @ 10pm are not the place for babies. When I go out with my dh the last thing I want to hear is someones crying kid esp when we don't get out often and enjoying a kid free night. There are so many places geared up for children - why take them anywhere else?

Crosshair Tue 28-Jun-11 22:04:25


figgygal Tue 28-Jun-11 22:05:15

the op isn't having a go at the baby obviously but the selfish attitude of the parents not considering the best interests of their baby and not thinking of anyone else in that restaurant. I had this on saturday night grizzly young baby and bored 4ish yr old mother I'm sorry but restaurants on a saturday r for adults not children IMO it really pisses me off.

lockets Tue 28-Jun-11 22:07:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

theinet Tue 28-Jun-11 22:12:43

Of course, i don't think that all couples would behave like this but i have noticed a trend in the last few years for people with small children and particularly babies in pubs and restaurant seemingly quite content to let the baby scream, and to hell with other diners. When it's a very family friendly pub or restaurant you can understand some noise but in a restaurant at 10 at night? crazy. And the parents in such circumstances obviously don't care about others, and i've seen several "attitudey" confrontations.

SinicalSal Tue 28-Jun-11 22:13:59

A restaurant at 10 pm is no place for small children, imo. Nor is it the place for violent thugs.

(How long before someone brings up Spain or Italy?)

ilovesooty Tue 28-Jun-11 22:14:09

I agree with those who say a restaurant at that time of night is no place for a baby. The staff should have intervened if other diners' meals were being disturbed.

jetsetlil Tue 28-Jun-11 22:17:41

So the staff can get attacked?

theinet Tue 28-Jun-11 22:17:57

the thing is, when i go on holiday to Greece, yes young kids do go to restaurants late at night - 11pm , midnight - Greek kids have no set bedtimes.

What they do to their children i don't know, but in all the years i have been going there i have never, ever seen a badly behaved child kicking off in a restaurant. But it happens all the time here - a cultural thing, for sure, but still baffling.

Hullygully Tue 28-Jun-11 22:19:21

I love tethesrs

walesblackbird Tue 28-Jun-11 22:21:01

I have three young children and other than when on holidays when we eat later, I wouldn't want my three children in a pub or restaurant at 10pm. If I'm in a restaurant at 10pm I'd like it to be just me and dh having a break from my kids.

I think it's fine for children/babies to be in a restaurant on a Saturday night but just not that late. Our local pub/restaurant encourages families but then they're turfed out at 9pm - and I think that's a pretty good compromise.

It wasn't the baby's fault - it was the father who was the problem.

Ormirian Tue 28-Jun-11 22:23:19

Given the choice between baby and thug with wine bottle, I'd choose the baby.

I suspect that the father was a twat before the baby arrived.

Hullygully Tue 28-Jun-11 22:25:02

i love orm too

Shoesytwoesy Tue 28-Jun-11 22:26:58

imo this is a prime example of where AIBU topic goes wrong. the op is just a c &P of some story, no question, nothing personal.
what is the AIBU part of it

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