A leading London restaurant manager who became a Deliveroo driver during the Covid lockdown is now facing jail after giving a customer a ‘collage’ in a row on a Chinese takeout.
Panteli Kola, 34, repeatedly punched the father’s face outside his front door in Wandsworth, London, as her three-month-old baby slept a few feet away, a court has heard.
Kola started working as a Deliveroo driver in September last year after hospitality work dried up during the pandemic.
Previously, he held managerial positions at several large London hotel establishments, including one of Gordon Ramsay’s restaurants, The Ivy, Soho House and Annabel’s.
The Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court has learned of how reluctant it is to hand over an Asian Kitchen meal following a dispute over the name of the customer.
Panteli Kola, 34, repeatedly punched a new father’s face outside his front door as her three-month-old baby slept just a few feet away in Wandsworth, southwest London
The victim, 34, was waiting for the father of two Kola at the door of the house so as not to disturb his baby.
Kola claimed that the victim, who ordered the takeout from his girlfriend’s Deliveroo account, had given an incorrect name three times.
The victim told the court that he and the driver started arguing, which led him to tell Kola if he didn’t hand over the food that he would ask for a refund.
Kola, from Croydon, south London, claims the victim called him “late” and repeatedly insulted him while criticizing the way he was doing his job – which the victim denied.
The victim told the court: “I didn’t know why he was so angry and why he was screaming when I had a young child and a mother near me at the time.”
The victim said Kola “walked up to me and just started hitting me in the face.” In the photo: the victim’s injuries after the attack
Kola returned to his moped where he called the victim’s partner who explained that the food was for both of them and it was okay to hand it over.
The court heard Kola come back to the front door before he allegedly told the victim: “You don’t have to call me a retard, you f ***** gt ** t”, before to drop food on the floor outside his door.
The victim explained how he then approached Kola, who was riding his bicycle at the time, to “scold him” about his behavior on the doorstep.
He also wanted to capture some of the delivery driver’s behaviors on video.
Kola claimed the victim approached him and aggressively swung him, which the victim denied.
Kola has worked as a Deliveroo driver since September last year after hospitality work dried up due to the pandemic
The victim said Kola “walked up to me and just started hitting me in the face”, adding that he shouted “What are you doing?”
Fearing the “horror stories” he had read about being punched in the head, the victim told the court that he then tried to restrain Kola, who at this point had hit him. with “at least half a dozen” hits.
The victim said he could “feel the blood vomiting right away” after the first punches.
The court heard from the two sides how they struggled for a few minutes before the victim’s partner walked out of the house after hearing the sound of the attack and begging Kola to stop.
The victim claimed that Kola hit him “three or four” more in the face before relenting.
He told the court that he “did not throw a single punch” throughout the incident, which Kola denies.
The couple claimed to have told Kola they were calling the police before they rushed off, returning briefly to retrieve their phone which had been abandoned in the incident.
Kola claimed that he also had a bloody nose and a black eye and that his bicycle helmet was “filled with blood”.
The victim described the attack as “horrific”, adding that he and his partner felt particularly vulnerable as the incident happened outside their home while their baby was sleeping.
The victim left scars on his inner and outer lips as a result of the attack.
District Judge Adrian Turner said: âThe prosecution has proven its point beyond a reasonable doubt.
Previously, he worked at some of London’s top hotel establishments in managerial positions, including The Ivy, Soho House and Annabel’s.
âThe victim took a collage, it looks like someone who spent 15 laps in a ring.
“Even though his manners were aggressive, they fell far short of this level of violence.”
Judge Turner added that although he was “persuaded”, Kola sincerely believed that the victim had mentioned him in derogatory terms, the attacker’s strength “was not defensive, but aggressive.”
He added: “The violence Mr. Kola used was not in self-defense, but it was with aggression and intention.”
Speaking directly to the accused, he warned him: “You most certainly risk being sentenced to a term of imprisonment.”
Panteli Kola will be sentenced later this month to a maximum of six months in prison or an unlimited fine after being convicted of assault.
He lost his job at Deliveroo following the incident.