Fletchers Bega owner pleads guilty to assaulting customer

In a case of customer service gone bad, the owner of a Bega business throttled one of his customers while pushing him out of his shop. 

Police documents state in December last year, Simon Edward Robertson recommended about $500 worth of equipment to a customer at Fletcher’s Fotographics. The customer bought the items, but when he got home he discovered his purchases were incompatible with the products he already owned. 

Returning to the shop the next day with his teenage son and his son’s friend, he asked for a refund to which Robertson agreed, at first. 

But the 51-year-old shop owner then made a comment along the lines of how “people like [the customer]” really bothered him.

The customer responded by saying “well if you knew your products better we would not be in this situation”.

Robertson then began yelling obscenities and demanded the customer leave. The customer apologised for his remark, but the situation escalated with Robertson grabbing the man around the neck and using his body weight to push him outside the store while continuing to yell at him. 

The incident occurred in front of witnesses and when the customer told Robertson he would report the assault to police, Robertson replied “the police station is [...] up the road, go ahead”. 

In Bega Local Court on March 14, Robertson pleaded guilty to common assault and was given a 12-month good behaviour bond and a $500 fine. 

Robertson said he has now taken a step back from being in the store and appointed a manager in his stead.