THE FATHER of a seven-month-old baby was spat at when he objected to two adults unaccompanied by children using a parent and baby parking place, York magistrates heard.

James Everett Hardy must now pay Simon Appleton £100 compensation for his behaviour towards him in the car park at Asda’s Monks Cross branch.

Cathy Turnbull, prosecuting, said Hardy had a woman and no children with him when he took the last parent and baby slot with a Ford Focus just ahead of Mr Appleton, who had his partner and baby with him.

Mr Appleton challenged Hardy as to why he had used the space without having a child in his Ford Focus. Hardy became aggressive, shouted and swore and said: “What the f... is it to you where I park?” then spat in Mr Appleton’s face.

The woman with him grabbed Hardy and told him: “Do you want to go back to prison?” She then got him to move away.

Mr Appleton later told police he was worried for his safety.

Hardy, 38, a self-employed fencer of James Street Caravan Site, York, pleaded guilty to assault. He was given a six-month conditional discharge in addition to the compensation order.

The court heard he was given a lengthy jail term in 1997 for a serious assault.

Julian Tanikal, representing Hardy, said he had been picking up his four children, all aged under seven, who were inside Asda. Through his solicitor, Hardy accused Mr Appleton of calling his partner a name, which had caused him to lose his temper.

Mr Tanikal said Mr Appleton had reversed slightly then got out of his car to confront Hardy, so cannot have been that concerned for his safety.

Since being released from his 1997 sentence, Hardy had settled down to a law-abiding life, running his own business and bringing up his four children.