Ilford pub landlord spends night in cells after being attacked by two men

A pub landlord, handcuffed in front of his customers and put in the cells overnight after a bid to cut down on crime went horribly wrong, says he feels like the police are against him.

David Christof was taking pictures of a pair of street drinkers when one threw a punch at him while the other tried to attack him with a crutch, shouting: “I’m going to kill you”.

Self defence

But it was Mr Christof, who says he threw a punch at one of the men in self-defence, who was left handcuffed in the back of a police car outside his pub – the Prince of Wales in Green Lane, Ilford – before being kept in the cells at Ilford Police Station for more than 12 hours.

The 47-year-old says he was taking a picture of the pair as they drank alcohol, because he wanted to give the photo to the council’s licensing officers so they can do something about the “state of Green Lane”.

And while Mr Christof was being sent to the cells overnight, he claims his two attackers were sent on their way by officers without being arrested.

The landlord of seven years said: “I’m supposed to be a pillar of society, I wouldn’t expect that sort of response from the police.

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“We’ve got a problem with people drinking and hanging around in the street and in our car park throwing plastic cups.

“Every night me and my staff clean up the road and side roads because it looks bad.”

Mr Christof, who was arrested for actual bodily harm and affray before being released without charge on Wednesday morning of last week, claims police said, ‘we’ve got an innocent man in the cells’, before he was released.

Mr Christof said of his battle against antisocial behaviour: “I’m having to police what the police are not doing. The arrest is like the last straw.”

He says he has contacted police to find out why the two men were apparently not arrested.

Police have confirmed they arrested and later released Mr Christof, but have not responded to any of the Recorder’s other questions.