The owner of a South Wales curry house owner threw chilli powder in a customer's eyes after he complained about being served "rubbery" chicken, a court has heard.
Head chef and owner Kamrul Islam began the first day of his trial on Monday (5 February) at Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court, accused of causing actual bodily harm to David Evans while he was dining with his wife at the Prince of Bengal in Tonypandy, last year.
Prosecuting Stephen Donaghue said: "The defendant was the owner of the Prince of Bengal curry restaurant and, as a result of a complaint about the food, a dispute arose.
"The prosecution case is that this defendant grabbed a handful of chilli powder and threw it in the face of David Evans, thereby causing him difficulties with his eyes," reported the Aberdeen Evening Express.
But the jury heard that Islam denies the charge claiming he acted in self-defence after Evans followed him to the door of the restaurant's kitchen during the incident on 21 January last year.
The court heard that Evans and his wife were eating their main dishes around 7pm last year, when a waiter asked if they were happy with their meal.
Donaghue told the jury that Evans said that "they were not really happy and it was said that the chicken in particular was tough and rubbery".
The waiter left the table and returned with Islam who asked them what the matter was in an "aggressive and difficult manner", said the prosecutor.
Donaghue told the court Islam used foul language and swore at Mrs Evans, before returning to the kitchen.
The prosecutor added: "Evans was unhappy that his wife had been spoken to in that manner and was demanding an apology."
The jury heard that by this time Evans had followed Islam to the kitchen doorway.
Donaghue said: "It was at this point that the defendant had some chilli powder in his hand that he had acquired in the kitchen and then threw it in the face of Evans."
The jury heard that Evans doubled up in pain, and was rushed to hospital where a saline drip was used to clean his eyes. He was found to have suffered burns where the spice landed on him.
Islam was arrested later that night. He told officers in an interview that he did not swear at the couple, and that he acted in self-defence because he thought Evans was going to attack him.
The prosecutor told the court that Islam told officers he saw "Evans was forming his hand into a fist as if to punch him".
Donaghue told jurors he would ask them to look at two areas of dispute – what was said at the table, and whether or not Islam had acted in lawful self-defence.
The trial continues.