A man in Britain was ordered to pay fines after an assault charge, and police say he slapped his girlfriend across the face and squirted brown sauce on her because he caught her reading 50 Shades of Grey.
The controversial book has been a hot topic of discussion over the past few months, apparently piquing the interest of Emma McCormick and the ire of her boyfriend of five years, Raymond Hodgson. Hodgson did not feel the tome had the potential to spice up their relationship, however, and he did not take his former girlfriend’s decision to read the book all that positively.
According to the Telegraph, the pair — who had been dating for five years but still lived in their respective family homes of origin — began to bicker about McCormick’s reading of the saucy novel. Prosecutor Adrienne Harris explained in Carlisle Magistrates’ Court:
“Mr Hodgson thought that the book was pornographic, and that she should not read such literature… The argument continued into the following day, with the two exchanging text messages.”
Harris explained that while Hodgson then traveled to McCormick’s home to douse her with sauce for her transgressions (which, given the subject material at the core of their disagreement, is an amusingly fitting if still maladaptive reaction), he did not realize the actions were classed as assault:
“He said he had every intention of squirting sauce over Miss McCormick, but he now regrets having done this, realising how stupid it sounds… He didn’t realise that the sauce incident would be classed as an assault. He is sorry for his actions.”
Defender Malcolm Dobbs says that while his client behaved badly, he denies slapping McCormick:
“He lost his temper and went round to her home armed with a bottle of brown sauce, which he should never have done. Emma says it stung her eyes and it was all over the walls, which she had to clean up afterwards. I’ve spoken to Raymond and he’s extremely sorry about it… He was angry that she suggested he slapped her because he hadn’t. But they are now friends and they have been in touch with each other.”
Hodgson was ordered to pay £100 in compensation and £85 in court costs, and a curfew was imposed upon him. He explained, according to the news site, that he hatched the plan to teach his erstwhile lover “what saucy really meant.”