A COURT was told a Bridgwater man had been having 'a bad day' when he ended up assaulting a complete stranger in the street because he was smoking near his children.

Artur Misevicius, 33, of Grebe Close, Bridgwater, was brought before Somerset Magistrates in custody after being arrested for breaching a community order previously imposed for offences of common assault and theft after he failed to turn up for his unpaid work appointments.

Probation officer Cheryl Steer said that on August 14 last year the victim and his family had enjoyed lunch in an Italian restaurant in Bridgwater and then left.

Misevicius was standing outside a shop next door when he saw the victim light up a cigarette and started smoking close to his wife and children.

“He suddenly became aware that the defendant had approached him and he then felt a swipe against his right hand,” she said.

“Misevicius then struck him a second time knocking his cigarette to the ground and then became aggressive and started shouting abuse at him talking about smoking in front of children.

Misevicius walked off towards the High Street and then started shouting and swearing at members of staff in the bank so they activated their alarm to call the police.

On the same day a security guard at the Asda store in Bridgwater saw the defendant walk out with a basket of goods he had not paid for.

He initially resisted but was then detained until the police arrived and he was arrested.

Defending solicitor Chris Baddoo said that August 14, 2018 could only be described as a “bad day” for the defendant.

“His debit card had been swallowed up by a bank machine and he was on the street when he saw the complainant smoking in front of his own children so knocked the cigarette out of his hand,” he said.

“The bank could not sort his card out so he then went to the supermarket and stole some shopping as he couldn’t pay for it, and then he got caught.”

He said that Misevicius, who was working as a labourer via an agency, fully accepted that what he did that day was totally wrong and understood that the children were upset during the incident.

He had been previously sentenced to a community order and was ordered to complete 80 hours unpaid work but had not done any.

The case against the defendant was adjourned until Thursday, May 2.