Charity volunteer arrested and charged after being served cold chips in Harlesden restaurant

PUBLISHED: 17:15 03 July 2013 | UPDATED: 17:15 03 July 2013

Burger King branch in Harlesden

Burger King branch in Harlesden


William Roache claims police were heavy-handed over incident in Burger King

A charity volunteer accused police of being heavy-handed after he was arrested and charged because he complained to staff in a restaurant in Harlesden that he was served cold chips.

William Roache alleges he was treated harshly by officers from Brent Police after a row broke out in Burger King in Tavistock Road.

The 60-year-old from Thornton Heath, who does voluntaery work for AgeUK, said police were called to the eatery after he argued with a server who refused to exchange the cold chips.

He said: “I sat down and took two single chips from the packet and found out it was quite cold, so I took them back to the counter.

“He claimed I had eaten half of the chips and tried to give me half a packet as a replacement.

“I was quite annoyed and told him not be so stupid - go back and get me a packet of chips.”

Mr Roache, who was visiting relatives in the borough, said after the manager ‘slammed £4 down on the counter’ and said he didn’t want him ‘raising his voice in the shop’ the police was called.

He said: “Next thing I know the police officers grabbed my arm and arrested me.

“He literally dragged me out and I was put in a meat wagon and taken to Wembley police station.”

Mr Roache claims he was not offered a solicitor and was held in a cell for four hours despite him telling officers he was claustrophobic.

He was released after being given a fixed penalty fine of £80 which he is refusing to pay.

He said: “I have not paid it on the principle I have not done anything.

“I wrote to Burger King explaining my disgust, experience in Burger King and the subsequent arrest I endured.

“I am really angry, it has affected me and I have had sleepless nights.

A spokesman for Brent Police told the Times they had issued a 60-year-man with a fixed penalty after he became verbally abusive with staff and refused to leave the premises.

He denied that they had not offered legal help and said an appropriate level of care was provided while he was held in the cell.

He added: “At this stage no official complaint has been received by police.

“Should a complaint be made, we will investigate it appropriately.”

Burger King failed to comment.

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