Macca’s spitter facing jail for ‘feral’ attack

A teen who spat on and abused staff at a McDonald’s store has asked the court not to make her the example when she receives her sentence. NCA NewsWire / David Mariuz

A teenager whose “feral” assault of fast food employees went viral on social media has asked a court not to treat her as the “lightning rod” example as she faces heightened penalties for her actions.

On Thursday, Mia Miller, 18, asked the Adelaide Magistrates Court not to make her sentence for spitting on Maccas employees the example for future offenders, despite recent legislation amendments which could see those who attack retail staff jailed for up to seven years.

Ms Miller pleaded guilty to two aggravated counts of assault, one count of disorderly conduct and two counts of committing a prohibited act with human biological material.

Magistrate Michael Barnett heard Miller had not faced the criminal justice system before the attack, which was captured on video and posted to social media.

Alexander De Ionno, for Miller, told the court his client was willing to engage in community service, as well as adhere for a good behaviour bond for her offending, but urged Mr Barnett not to impose a prison sentence for the 18-year-old.

Supplied Editorial Screenshot of Mia Miller spits at staff in Hindley Street McDonald's\n . Picture: Supplied
Mia Miller assaulted workers at the Hindley St restaurant in Adelaide in October last year. Picture: Supplied
She told the court she was remorseful and regretted the incident. Picture: NCA NewsWire / David Mariuz

Miller had previously asked the court to impose no penalty, arguing her televised 7 NEWS apology was enough for her to avoid punishment.

But Mr Barrett expressed concerns the teen had tried to pass the blame onto others during the interview – an act which wouldn’t do her any favours during sentencing.

“There are matters that are raised in that apology and the appearance might be interpreted as a degree of victim blaming – suggesting others involved in the incident might bare some responsibility for what occurred. She mentioned various aspects of that in her apology,” Mr Barrett said.

She pleaded guilty to assaulting workers at the Hindley St store. Picture: NCA NewsWire / David Mariuz

Mr De Ionno asked Mr Barrett to disregard everything but her sincere initial remorse in the broadcast, saying it should be sufficient evidence of how Miller feels about the situation now.

“I would put that down to the juvenile mind at that time and a very short period of time in which Ms Miller had to reflect on her behaviour,” Mr De Ionno said.

“She’s remorseful regarding her offending and reports a high level of regret and embarrassment.”

The teen pleaded guilty to charges arising from the October 2022 incident, when a video of the incident went viral on TikTok.

City Pubs - Then and Now
Miller is the first person to be charged under harsher new penalties. Picture: Supplied

The footage shows Miller yelling at staff at the Hindley St restaurant before picking up an order of fries and throwing them over the counter.

She is then seen spitting at staff over the counter.

The court previously heard the footage had not shown the full extent of the attack.

Ms Miller is one of the first South Australians to be charged under new, harsher laws designed to deter people from violently lashing out against retail employees.

The new regulations could jail offenders who engage in abusive behaviour towards retail employees for up to seven years, more than double the previous penalty.

She will return to court in June for sentencing.