AN Orford man punched a woman to the floor after drinking Stella Artois following a row in the self service check out of Tesco Extra.

Mark Edward Bate, aged 24, of Watkin Street, shouted ‘don’t you know who I am’ during the incident at 6.30pm on March 23.

Halton Magistrates Court heard on Thursday how Bate argued with victim Lee Potts in the check out area after drinking five cans and four pints of lager.

Alison Warburton, prosecuting, said he aimed at punch at him but instead hit Nicola Miller.

“Ms Miller was standing in the way,” said Mrs Warburton, who described the defendant as being ‘under the influence of substance or drink’.

“She was caught and knocked to the floor, causing her to hurt her hands, arms and back.”

The court heard Bate had grabbed a gold chain around Mr Potts’ neck during the initial row.

After the defendant clenched his fists a number of staff at the store in Warrington intervened.

Bate was being restrained by security when he lashed out at Mr Potts and struck Ms Miller.

After being arrested he told police he had been drinking and admitted acting in an aggressive manner, the court heard.

Bate said he intended to hit Mr Potts and not the female victim.

The defendant has no previous convictions, but a caution for criminal damage handed out in 2013.

District Judge Bridget Knight called for reports to be carried out before sentence is decided.

She said: “This was two members of the public and it is very frightening for the victim and anyone else likely to be using the Tesco shop that day.

“The court is considering all sentencing options in this case.

“You must co-operate with probation and the pre-sentence report, so the court knows all about you before reaching a decision.”

Pre-sentence reports are used by courts to assess the best way to punish a defendant.

Generally, they can assess any drink or drug issues, previous convictions, the risk of future offending and capacity to do unpaid work.

Bate will be sentenced on May 6.