56-year-old gave two teenagers ‘a piece of my mind’ by assaulting them in cinema

A 56-year-old assaulted two teenagers in a town cinema to give them “a piece of his mind” after they disrupted a film by throwing popcorn at him.

Gerard D’Andrea, of Ladysmith Cottages in West Winch, appeared at Lynn Magistrates’ Court on Thursday charged with two counts of assault by beating.

He pleaded guilty to the offences, which he committed at Lynn’s Majestic Cinema after what he felt was provocation from the two boys.

Gerard D’Andrea assaulted two teenagers at the Majestic Cinema in Lynn
Gerard D’Andrea assaulted two teenagers at the Majestic Cinema in Lynn

Crown prosecutor Sally Harris said that on March 17, D’Andrea approached his two victims at the end of a film screening, dragging one of them across an aisle.

The pair then asked to retrieve their bags, but D’Andrea proceeded to throw them in their direction.

Police issued a CCTV appeal following the incident, and the defendant was handed a conditional caution. However, he failed to comply with its requirements and winded up in court instead.

A victim statement from one of the 15-year-old boys claimed that his friend had been sneezing throughout the movie, and that D’Andrea repeatedly turned around to stare at them whenever this occurred.

Annoyed by this, the boy claimed he asked D’Andrea: “What you looking at?”

He alleged that he was grabbed around the neck and punched following this, before being thrown down a set of stairs.

D’Andrea was represented by solicitor George Sorrell, but told magistrates himself that he did not punch either of the boys.

“I didn’t know their ages at the time. I have been flattened by a 12-year-old many, many years ago,” he said.

He said his trip to the cinema on that day had been his first social outing in four months following an operation, and that he and his girlfriend had become frustrated by the boys’ noise levels throughout the film.

He said one couple were already forced to move seats because of the boys, and that upon asking them to be quiet, he and his partner had popcorn thrown at them.

“All I wanted to do was give him a piece of my mind,” D’Andrea said.

“I spend money to go out – it is a treat for me. I said sorry to my girlfriend after, and had to say ‘this is not me’ – because this is not me.”

Ms Harris confirmed that D’Andrea did apologise at the time of the assaults.

Magistrates, led by Paul Redhead, ordered him to pay £50 in compensation to each of the two boys.

He will also pay £50 in legal costs.