This is the moment a curry chef appears to throw hot chilli powder into a complaining customer’s eyes leaving the man fearing he had been blinded in an acid attack, a court heard today.
CCTV footage was shown to a jury of the agonising moment diner David Evans, 47, had the hot spice thrown into his eyes by chef Kamrul Islam.
The video shows Islam, 47, wearing rubber gloves as he launched a cloud of red powder towards Mr Evans in the restaurant.
David Evans, 47, and his wife Michelle (pictured together above) planned to enjoy a romantic evening at the Prince of Bengal restaurant in Tonypandy, Rhondda, South Wales
David Evans was rushed to hospital where a saline drip and water was used to flush out his eyes
Grandfather Mr Evans told how he was left in ‘unbelievable pain’ – and feared he would never see again.
Pipe-fitter Mr Evans said: ‘It was horrific. That’s the only way I can describe it.
‘At first I thought you hear about these acid attacks.
‘It made me think I just had a grandson two weeks before that and I thought I’m never going to see him again. That’s how bad the pain was.’
Kamrul Islam, 47, (pictured outside court today) allegedly hurled the burning chilli into the face of David Evans, 47, while he was on a night out with his wife
Mr Evans had been out for dinner with his college lecturer wife Michelle, 48, when they complained about his ‘tough and rubbery’ chicken.
But Islam argued with the couple before Mr Evans followed him to the kitchen.
Islam, owner of Prince of Bengal restaurant, claims he acted in self defence after Mr Evans ‘formed a fist’ as if to punch him.
The footage shown in court showed Mr Evans leaning over in pain clutching his eyes after having the chili thrown in his eyes while his wife comes over to help him.
Mr Evans said: ‘I knew I was in trouble. I was screaming get the police and ambulance there.
‘I was helpless. My wife took me into the bathroom.’
The court heard Mr Evans splashed cold water into his eyes for 30 to 40 minutes before the police arrived.
He said: ‘I had no help from anyone at the restaurant. I was being sick. My throat was burning.’
Mr Evans said he suffered burns to his neck, face, lips, stomach and chest and added: ‘The pain was unbelievable.’
He spent between three to four hours at hospital on January 21 before being discharged in the early hours of the next morning.
Giving evidence during the trial, wife Michelle Evans said: ‘It was the worst experience I have ever had out with my husband.
‘I remember everything and I certainly wasn’t drunk.’
Mrs Evans said: ‘I was really taken aback (thinking) ‘why is he so annoyed, why is he so nasty, why is he so aggressive?’
‘What’s the worst he thought was going to happen? That we weren’t going to pay for our meal?’
Mrs Evans told the jury that she posted on Facebook about the incident the following day because she ‘wanted to tell the people of Tonypandy and the surrounding area that if they went there this is what they might be treated like’.
Mr Evans and his wife Michelle (pictured together. leaving court today) complained and said their meal was ‘tough and rubbery’
She said her husband ‘doesn’t shout’ and it would be very out of character for him to act aggressively, and that he was asking for an apology over the way Islam spoke to her when the incident happened.
Both Mr and Mrs Evans told the jury Islam only came to their table once and was immediately aggressive.
They were challenged on the sequence of events by Ruth Smith, for Islam, and shown CCTV footage from inside the restaurant.
The footage showed Islam and various other members of staff going to the table, which the Evanses said they could not recall.
Mr Evans previously said he was ‘very angry’ but was not the aggressor in the situation.
When asked how he would describe the feeling of having chilli powder in his eyes, Mr Evans said: ‘Horrific, that’s the only way I can describe it.
‘At first I thought you hear about these acid attacks. It was that bad a pain. I had just had a grandson two weeks ago and my first thought was I’m never going to see him again.
‘That’s how bad the pain was.’
Jurors have previously been told that Mr Evans immediately doubled up in pain and was taken to hospital.
A saline drip was used to clean his eyes and he was found to have suffered burns when the spice landed on him.
Islam was arrested later that night.
In an interview, he told officers he acted in self-defence because he thought Mr Evans was going to attack him and denied swearing at the couple, the court was told.
The chef today told the court that he threw chilli into the eyes of a customer after a ‘heated’ restaurant row.
Islam said he hurled the spice in self-defence because he feared restaurant diner David Evans would attack him.
Islam told the court: ‘It is true that it was getting heated. I had a lot of orders coming in.’
Islam said he spoke to Mr and Mrs Evans at their table after they complained about their meal before heading back into the kitchen followed by Mr Evans.
He said: ‘I had an understanding that he was going to hit me.
‘I was very frightened. I didn’t want to show anybody that I was frightened.
‘If I didn’t move he would have hit me, without a question.
‘I thought he was going to come into the kitchen and he was going to attack me. So then I grabbed the chilli.’
Islam, who began to cry giving evidence, said: ‘I ran to get the chilli powder because I wanted to get the chilli before he gets me.
‘I thought he would grab me before I could grab the chilli.’
Islam told the court that Mrs Evans had been rude to him about her food.
Islam said: ‘She said that the chicken was tough. She was punching it with her fork in a rude manner.
‘She said just f***ing take it away.’
Islam denies assault.
The trial at Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court continues.
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