"I have been treated like this because of a bit of vinegar."
Grandmother Kalvinder Mander, aged 52, of Leeds, avoided a prison sentence after she threatened a man with a knife at a fish and chip shop.
Leeds Crown Court heard that she and her husband owned the York Road Fisheries and Pizza Bar on York Road.
Mander threatened the customer with a knife during a fight over the quality of vinegar on his chip butty. She also hit the man as he scuffled with her husband on December 19, 2018.
CCTV footage showed the customer being demonstrative and gesticulating as he complained about the colour of the vinegar.
The prosecutor Andrew Horton explained how the trouble began when a customer was “unhappy about the vinegar” and he did not want to pay for his chip butty.
Mander handed the customer’s money back but then he tried to leave with the chip butty.
Mander’s husband went from behind the counter and tried to stop him leaving with the food. The pair then got into a struggle with each other.
The grandmother then picked up a knife, flailed her arms around and hit the customer with the handle of the knife in her fist.
All three then calmed down and the customer handed Mander her white chef’s hat.
The man suffered a few minor scratches but was “devastated” as his four-year-old daughter’s necklace was broken in the scuffle.
Police officers soon arrived and Mander was arrested after officers looked at the CCTV footage. The bent bread knife was recovered from the scene.
Mander told police: “It was silly. I did wrong.”
In a statement, the customer said: “I have been treated like this because of a bit of vinegar.”
Judge Christopher Batty was handed references written on Mander’s behalf which described her as a “pillar of the community”.
The court heard Mander helped local charities by providing them with meals and her business was the “hub” of the community.
She pleaded guilty to threatening a person with a blade in a public place.
Shufqat Khan, mitigating, explained that Mander and her husband had owned the business for 18 years.
He said Mander was ashamed of her actions and was sorry for what happened.
Mr Khan said: “It created a very dangerous situation. But it was short-lived and thankfully he was not hurt.
“The incident escalated over the colour of the vinegar.
“It is the same vinegar that has been served in the shop for the last 17 years without complaint.”
Judge Batty told the grandmother:
“You are certainly not someone who I, or indeed anyone, would ever think would be standing where you are today.”
“I am obliged to send you to custody unless I consider that it would be unjust to do so.
“You did not point the blade of the knife at him.
“It was a wholly unusual set of circumstances where you acted very inappropriately but in the heat of the moment.
“In all of those circumstances, it would be very unjust to send you to custody.”
Kalvinder Mander was ordered to complete 100 hours of unpaid work and pay £300 court costs.