A woman’s boyfriend threw a milkshake in her face while she was driving on the A55 and then attacked her with a flipflop after she drove into the services.
Customers at the Starbucks Catherine Kelly drove to tried to intervene as Christopher Latham of Northwich - who had drunk half a bottle of vodka - hit her with the sandal.
The pair had been on a ‘make or break’ holiday to North Wales in a bid to salvage their relationship, but Latham had become angry when she cut it short.
Latham, 32, Miss Kelly and their two children had been asked to leave a holiday park before spending one night in a hotel in Llandudno and then heading home.
It was while driving on the A55 in Flintshire that he began to poke her in the face before ripping the rear view mirror off.
He then threw the milkshake in her face. It went into her eyes and temporarily blinded her.
When she stopped, Miss Kelly rang Latham’s brother, who said he’d get there in an hour to try to calm him down, but he continued his attack, hitting her on the head with her own flipflop.
Miss Kelly asked other customers to call the police and when officers arrived there was a struggle as they pinned Latham down.
Stuart Flood, defending Latham at Flintshire magistrates court, said that it was during the last year his client had struggled with severe depression which had led to him taking alcohol.
Since the incident, he had undergone counselling and had followed an alcohol treatment course.
He was described as a proud father of two, accepted that what happened was absolutely disgraceful and extremely concerning.
He had worked in construction for 16 years and if he lost his liberty then he would lose his job and would be able to continue to support his family and pay the mortgage.
Mr Flood said his client had buried his head in the sand but the incident had been a wakeup call and he was desperately anxious to sort his life out.
It was great credit to him that he had not waited for the court hearing to get help.
“He is highly committed and motivated to change his ways,” said Mr Flood.
Probation officer Lisa Harris said Latham, from Saner Drive in Northwich, could not understand why the holiday had been ended early.
He had drunk vodka before the journey and his recollection was hazy – but he accepted the case against him.
She said: “He is ashamed, and regrets what he has put his family through.”
District Judge Richard Hine told Latham he had needed persuading “not to send him down immediately”, as there had been a real risk his behaviour in the car could have caused a crash.
He was given a 17-week prison sentence suspended for 12 months, fined £100 and made to do 180 hours community service.
A two year restraining order was made, and he was ordered to pay a £115 victim surcharge and £85 costs.