Supermarket giant Asda is re-thinking its queuing system after a vicious outburst of ‘checkout rage'.
Dad of two Tom Waterson (45) suffered two black eyes, a fractured cheekbone and three cracked ribs when he was attacked in front of his children by a 23-year-old woman.
Hairdresser Charlotte Mercer launched her frenzied assault when she counted the items in Mr Waterson's basket and discovered he had 11 and yet was standing at the ‘less than 10 items' checkout.
Ms Mercer had to be physically removed from the pole-axed electrician by security staff and, while waving clumps of his hair, screamed obscenities at the semi-conscious shopper and his apparent inability to count.
She later claimed she had lost her temper when she realised Mr Waterson was about to ignore the ‘less than 10 items' sign.
"I'm so fed up with this," she claimed. "We're all busy people and if the checkout says ‘hand baskets only' or '10 items or less' then everyone should heed that - or take the consequences.
"And, I'm pretty ticked off at supermarket staff who ignore their own rules and treat us rule-abiding shoppers like we're morons.
"I say count the items in your neighbour's basket and, if they're over the limit, then tell them to move or you'll make them move."
A spokesman for Asda confirmed that Mr Waterson did, in fact, have 11 pieces in his basket though he said that two of these were a special three for two offer; this, therefore, technically dropped him below the 10-item limit.
He added: "This is probably the most violent case we've had but it is, by no means, the only one.
"We will be looking at our checkout colleagues to take on more of a policing role to weed out those who try to sneak an extra item or two through."
Recovering from his ordeal, Mr Waterson said: "One second I'm unloading my basket and the next this well-coiffured banshee is whacking the bejesus out of me.
"It gave me quite a turn, though the kids seemed to think it was funny."