Company director who attacked Uber driver after night out at Raffles cries

first_imgMr Hussein, pictured, refused to take Croucher home after he became angry Credit:Central News Croucher insisted he only slapped the driver but the magistrates found he had kicked him in the head.Ms Blandford told Croucher: “The CCTV evidence was compelling. We saw the slap, and the security guards saying call the police.“We saw the urgency in which they ran over shouting no need to kick him in the head.“Your behaviour was unacceptable, we find that you did kick Mr Hussein a number of times while he was on the floor, and one of those kicks was to the head.”She added: “This is a very serious offence, only a custodial sentence can be justified.”Croucher, from Hornsey, north London, admitted assault by beating but denied kicking Mr Hussein.The businessman was jailed for 20 weeks, ordered to pay £620 costs, a £115 victim surcharge and £500 in compensation.A spokesperson for Raffles said: “Mr Croucher was refused entry to the club on the evening in question; Mr Croucher is not a member of the club, nor was he being accompanied by a member.”Furthermore Mr Croucher was heavily intoxicated when he approached the club and became aggressive and abusive towards our staff upon refusal. The club takes the upholding of the key licensing objectives very seriously and would like to praise the members of our security staff involved for their swift and decisive action.”Their actions prevented what could have amounted to a far more serious injury to a member of the public just trying to do his job and to Mr Croucher’s arrest and subsequent conviction.”Technology also played a key role as the body cameras worn and operated by our security staff incorporate audio recording, which coupled with our CCTV provided the club with necessary means to assist the police in full and to a satisfactory end.” But Ms Blandford found his behaviour was “unacceptable” and sentenced him to 20 weeks, adding: “You’ll just have to get used to his life being different.”The court heard Croucher, who is the director of a management consultancy, had been to Raffles with his partner, Briggitte Kudor.He attacked Mr Hussein when he refused to drive the couple home over concerns Croucher was angry. Speaking in court, the driver said: “I refused because I got scared because the gentlemen suddenly got angry, something happened between them and he harshly slammed the door.“I got out to open the door and then the gentlemen took the keys from through the window. He slapped me. I was begging for my keys and he suddenly pushed me on the pavement.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. This will destroy my life… my company would dieRobert Crouchercenter_img Mr Hussein refused to take Croucher home after he became angry  Croucher then attacked Mr Hussein, kicking his body and head. The driver later had to go to hospital and was prescribed antibiotics for the pain.Magistrates were shown footage of the incident recorded by a member of staff at Raffles, where Croucher is seen slapping Mr Hussein, insulting members of staff and then throwing the driver’s keys down the street.Kristoff Kwiecien, one of the doormen who restrained Croucher, told magistrates he had held the company director down as the kicking was “too much”.He said: “Mr Croucher put him on the floor and kicked him in the head. It was three to five times.The first kick was loud, like a clap.”Mr Kwiecien told magistrates Croucher had a conversation with the doormen before the incident and had threatened to have them fired.“He was very rude,” he said. “He said he had built four flats in Mayfair, and I could lose my job tomorrow.” A company director who attacked an Uber driver following a night out at a private members club cried as he was jailed and told: “Get used to life being different.”Robert Croucher kicked driver Mohammad Hussein’s head as he lay on the floor after he refused to take the 35-year-old home following a night at Raffles, in Chelsea, west London.During a hearing at Hammersmith Magistrates Court, Croucher begged magistrate Sandra Blandford to spare him a jail sentence, claiming: “This will destroy my life, I am the director of a company and everyone would lose their jobs. We have 1,000 clients, we have staff all around the country, and it would die.”last_img read more

Giant agave plant bursts through the roof of grade II listed greenhouse again

first_imgAugust, 2015, when the first plant erupted A rare Agave has burst through the roof of the Italianate Glasshouse in the King George VI park in Ramsgate, KentCredit:Christopher Pledger  But the couple were amazed when in 2015, one of their agaves started to soar skywards, eventually barging through the greenhouse, in a botanical outburst which was as impressive as it was costly.It took more than a year to remove the plant, and restore the greenhouse,  but on April 17 this year, a second plant started growing six inches a day, and has been shooting up ever since, finally emerging through the roof last week.”I just thought, here we go again,” said Mr Dadds who has looked after the greenhouse with his wife for 14 years.”We suspected it might go, because it had begun to emit a sugary secretion which is a sign that the spike is about to start growing.”It took a lot of effort to remove the first one. We had to scaffold up the whole greenhouse, and attach the poles to the wall behind which made the scaffolders very nervous. Then we had to take apart the agave piece by piece. August, 2015, when the first plant erupted Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. The first agave bursting through in 2015Credit: Christopher Pledger Mrs Dadds, who also runs a tea room at the site, said: “It started growing on Easter Monday, growing at least six inches a day. We had a metal worker lined up to take the glass and glazing bar out.”Interestingly, the last time this happened was a general election.”The greenhouse usually attracts around 4,000 visitors each year but the agave blooms have attracted three times as many visitors, from all over the world.The couple have commissioned a local artist to turn the spike of the original agave plant into a totem pole, and made candle holders from the excess stem, which they are hoping to sell to fund the removal of the new 30ft plant.Both plants were brought from a house in nearby Cliftonville around 1975 but have shown little signs of activity in the last four decades.It is thought to be the first time an American Agave has bloomed in Britain for 14 years. The last time it happened was at Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh in 2001. Before its final growth spurt, it stood at around 4ft in height, with large leaves spreading over a 6ft in diameter. Then it started to produce a ‘spike.The greenhouse, which was recently restored with the help of Thanet District Council and English Heritage, has stood at the site since 1832, attracts around 4,000 visitors every year has seen a surge of interest in recent months, as news of the agave’s growth spread. It was originally part of a 22 acre estate owned by Sir Moses Montefiore, a British financier and former Sheriff of London, but is now part of the King George VI Memorial Park.In 2002 the nearby stableblock was bought by Mr Dadds’ architectural company who also are responsible for the upkeep of the greenhouse. The giant American agave is native to the deserts of the Southwestern United States and Mexico and specimens can grow for between 80 and 100 years before flowering and dying shortly afterwards.For this reason, the species is commonly known as the Century Plant.It has evolved to survive in harsh, low-water environments, so the plants produce hundreds, if not thousands, of seeds, giving them the best chance that a few might actually survive. “But at least we know what to expect this time. We’ll probably leave it up for a year, like last time, to allow people to see it, and then take it out next year.”The couple had been warned that the second agave could erupt shortly afterwards because the plants were brought to the greenhouse at the same time, between 80 and 100 years ago. But it was too large to to remove the couple could only wait and watch.Curiously the original agave bloomed during the last general election campaign, while while the new plant began to erupt a day before Theresa May called the snap June election.  A rare Agave has burst through the roof of the Italianate Glasshouse in the King George VI park in Ramsgate, Kent To allow one giant agave plant to erupt through the roof of a grade II listed greenhouse might be considered unfortunate, but to let two, starts to look like carelessness.So spare a thought for custodians Phil and Janice Dadds who had just finished repairing the glass panels of their Victorian Italianate glass house in Ramsgate, Kent, when they noticed that a second agave was starting to wake up. American agave plants can live for a hundred years and bloom spectacularly just once in their lifetime, before dying, and most gardeners will never see the flowers. The first agave bursting through in 2015last_img read more