A RESTAURANT owner has today been cleared of stabbing a customer in the nose with a fork.
Monir Miah, 54, who runs the Crown of India, was found not guilty of assault by Stafford Magistrates following a trial.
They found that there was no conclusive evidence that Miah had deliberately caused injury and that he had acted in self-defense, using reasonable force.
Miah, of Tilling Drive, had denied assaulting Christopher Foley by beating him outside his Market Square restaurant on July 9 last year.
Mr Foley had previously told the court Miah had been the aggressor and attacked him with the fork after a row over a drink.
But Miah told the court he had been acting in self defence and had no idea Mr Foley had been hurt until he saw blood.
He said he had been returning to the restaurant from the cash and carry and Mr Foley and a friend were outside and argued as he reversed his car along the alleyway by the restaurant entrance.
He said the two men had returned to their party in the restaurant and then paid for the poppadoms and lager they had had and left, but the two men returned.
Miah insisted he had not been the aggressor and had been defending himself as he thought he was going to be head-butted. He said he had cutlery in one hand and his car keys in another and put his hands up to defend himself.
The court heard when Miah saw the blood he thought he himself had been hurt but police then told him about Mr Foley’s injury.
Miah told the court: “I was very scared. I am 5ft 4ins and the two men were 6ft.”
Mohammed Sharif Uddin, a waitor at the Crown of India for the last 12 years, said the two men were shouting and saying they wanted their money back. He added that he had not seen a fork in Miah’s hand.
And Paul Farrell, who had been collecting a takeaway from the restaurant, added that he had heard Miah asking the men not to use bad language as he and his wife arrived.
Speaking after the hearing Miah said the case had caused him sleepless nights and lost his business a lot of money over the past few months.