Claims of ‘big money’ robbery at gun-point spark Ilford pub licensing review

The Ash Grove hotel in Green Lane, Ilford. Photo: Google Maps

The Ash Grove hotel in Green Lane, Ilford. Photo: Google Maps - Credit: Google Maps

A pub is having its licence reviewed after a man claimed he was held at gun-point and beaten for hours there before having £18,000 stolen.

Redbridge Council’s licensing committee will meet tomorrow (Fri) to decide whether to revoke, suspend or amend conditions for the sale of alcohol at The Ash Grove, in Ilford.

On November 7 Redbridge Police applied for a summary review of the Green Lane pub’s licence stating they had become convinced it was involved in serious crime.

Three days before that, on November 4, police had been called to the pub after reports that a man had been beaten and robbed.

Pc Taylor of Redbridge Police told a council sub-committee on November 8 that a victim claimed to have been attacked for hours in a room upstairs after arranging to meet a potential buyer of stock at the pub.

“They were met by 14 males, described as Sikh and Russian and they were told to hand over ‘big money’,” he said.

“A handgun was produced and as a result he admitted that he had £18,000 in cash in his vehicle. When the ordeal was over his cash and vehicle were gone.”

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Officers spoke to the pub’s licensee, Dipum Patel, but he maintained he had been “in and out” of the pub that day and could not say which staff had been working.

He also told police upstairs rooms were regularly rented out to the public, but could provide no receipts.

The Metropolitan Police asked for a number of conditions, including substantial improvements to its CCTV system.

They also requested the first floor be made entirely off-limits to members of the public.

Mr Patel told the Recorder he and his staff fully accepted the new conditions imposed by both the police and the council.

“The council wants to add CCTV conditions to our licence and that’s fine by us, it’s something we would have done anyway and to be honest we were surprised it wasn’t already on our licence,” he said.

“They also want us to have a staff rota available on request, and again, that is something we’ll make sure happens.

“I think all of this is more like a routine exercise than a big deal.”

A police spokeswoman confirmed the Ash Grove was currently the subject of an on-going robbery investigation. Two victims were treated at the scene for minor injuries but no arrests have been made. Inquiries continue.