Man pretended to be armed to demand £10 at KFC Taunton

KFC workers were not fooled by his claims of being armed and refused to meet his demands, Exeter Crown Court was told.

Cornish, whose most recent address was given as Taunton Road, Bridgwater, reacted by angrily wheeling himself around the restaurant, knocking items off customers' tables onto the floor.

He then sought refuge in the disabled toilets, where staff and customers barricaded him in.

While in the toilet, he smashed the washbasin and shouted racist abuse at the people outside.

In court, Cornish pleaded guilty to affray, criminal damage to the toilet and racially aggravated threatening behaviour.

Jailing him for seven months, Judge David Evans told Cornish the sentence was reduced because of his physical and mental health issues.

Man pretended to be armed to demand £10 at KFC Taunton

Matt Jackson, prosecuting, said Cornish went into the KFC at 11 pm on April 13, 2019 and approached the counter, where he stood up in his wheelchair and stuck a hand in a pocket to make it look as if he was armed.

He told the assistant: “Give me £10 from the till or I will shoot you.”

Although staff realised Cornish did not have a gun, they were alarmed by his aggressive behaviour.

While inside the disabled toilet, he responded to being barricaded in by smashing up fittings, causing a minor flood, and shouting racist threats to kill the staff.

Mr Jackson said a decision had been taken not to proceed with a more serious charge of attempted robbery because nobody was fooled by his claim to have a gun.

Chloe Griggs, defending, said Cornish is in a wheelchair because he has had one leg amputated.

He also suffers from schizophrenia and other mental illnesses.

Miss Griggs added that on the night of the incident, Cornish was homeless and had been robbed of his last £10 and felt pressured into going into KFC to try to replace it.