Teen hit with £1k bill after punching McDonald's self-service machine

By Carl Jackson | Lichfield | Crime | Published:

A jobless teenager has been told to pay McDonald’s more than £1,000 in compensation after he punched an electronic ordering machine.

The incident happened at McDonald's in Lichfield town centre

Colin Dixon had been drinking before he entered the Lichfield-based restaurant at around 10pm on May 19 and 'within seconds’ lashed out at the digital display.

Friends hauled the 18-year-old of Portfield Grove, Birmingham, out but he was later tracked down after CCTV was passed on to police.

Dixon admitted hitting the machine when quizzed by officers and blamed the incident on family troubles he had been struggling to cope with.

Prosecutor Emma Thompson told Cannock Magistrates’ Court: “He entered McDonald’s in Lichfield about 10pm on the 19th of May.

“Staff said he looked to be affected by drink or drugs. Within seconds of walking through the door he stepped forward a short distance to a large digital display approaching it and punching it resulting in the display being damaged.

“It was a costly mistake which cost McDonald’s £1,127.18 to replace.”

Will Harrington, defending, explained Dixon had been struggling to deal with the fact his mother had recently passed away and his father, who is prison, had also been taken ill.

“He was worried about all of that,” Mr Harrington said.


“Perhaps a combination of that, drinking and a lack of maturity has caused him to react this way and punch out, not at anyone, but at what turned out to be a very expensive display.”

Dixon pleaded guilty to one count of criminal damage.

Days before the incident he had been handed a 12-month community order for a theft conviction and ordered to carry out 40 hours of unpaid work, the court heard.

Magistrates maintained the order but extended the unpaid work to 80 hours.


The unemployed teenager must now also pay McDonald’s £1,127.18 in compensation, a further £145 in court costs and an £85 victim surcharge.

The chair of the bench said: “The people in McDonald’s did not deserve your actions. You came in under the influence of alcohol which is intriguing when you say you have got no income.

"Days before this happened you were in Birmingham court getting a court order. You are not setting a good example of yourself."

Carl Jackson

By Carl Jackson

Local Democracy Reporting Service

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