A CHEF at a Chinese restaurant flicked a knife at one of the waiters after a row.

Hen Qin Huang has worked as the head chef at You & Me in Bowness for five years but was sacked on the spot after he assaulted waiter Xiwang Zeng on July 2.

The incident happened after an argument broke out between the pair.

Huang then pushed Mr Zeng and refused to apologise when asked to do so.

Huang then walked across the restaurant and picked up a steak knife, walked back to Zeng and flicked it towards him causing a cut on his arm.

At South Cumbria Magistrates’ Court, Pam Ward, prosecuting, said: “During the evening of July 2 they had a verbal argument and during this argument the defendant became angry and pushed the complainant.

“The restaurant was closed at the time and no members of the public were present.

“The complainant requested he apologise, and repeated his demand for an apology but the defendant didn’t apologise.

“He then walked to the reception area, picked up a steak knife and walked towards the complainant.

“He was shouting: ‘How dare you ask me to apologise; I’ll show you something’.

“The defendant flicked the knife towards the complainant who was holding his phone in his hands to protect himself.

“The knife made contact with the complainant’s forearm and he sustained a cut one centimetre in diameter.

“The defendant was restrained by other staff members and police were called.”

The court heard Huang, 54, has no previous convictions and is currently staying with friends as he had previously lived above the restaurant.

Defence solicitor Maureen Fawcett said Huang had lived and worked in the UK for 16 years and sends money to his family back in China.

“Emotions were running high between the owner, the chef and the waiter and Mr Huang felt the waiter had been unfairly critical of him,” she said.

“He doesn’t try to minimise what he has done and accepts he has picked up the knife and caused the injury.

“He knows the court will be considering an immediate custodial sentence.

“He was dismissed from his job as a result of this incident.”

District Judge Gerald Chalk said he would make an exception in Huang’s case and draw back from a prison sentence.

“I note you are a man of previous good character; you are clearly a man who is prepared to abide by the law having reached the age of 54 with no convictions,” he said.

“You have been punished by losing your job immediately after this.

“Knives can cause very serious injuries but fortunately in this case the injury was light.

“Exceptionally I am going to deal with this by way of a community order.”

Huang, who spoke through an interpreter, was ordered to complete 160 hours of unpaid work.

He must also pay £150 compensation, £85 cost and a £90 victim surcharge.

The judge agreed to let him pay the amount owed to the court at a rate of £20 a month.