A Conservative MP has told a court how he fought off a drunken mugger who attacked him as he left a restaurant in central London.
Michael Ellis, MP for Northampton North, was approached by Eastern European immigrant Juraj Adam while walking along the Strand in London with colleagues on 17 June.
Mr Adam, who was “garbling incoherently”, followed Mr Ellis down the street, asking him for money, and at one point barged him in the shoulder, the Northants Herald and Post reports. Mr Ellis told Hammersmith Magistrates’ Court that he threatened to call the police, but when he took his phone out, Mr Adam tried to grab it.
A 30-second struggle ensued as the Tory MP refused to let go of his phone and stamped on Mr Adam’s foot “with his full force”. One of his colleagues then intervened and pulled Mr Adam away, however the phone was left damaged.
Mr Adam was arrested two days later and charged with using threatening and abusive language and causing criminal damage. However, he failed to show up for trial and was convicted in his absence.
Mr Ellis said: “I was walking down the Strand in the direction of Trafalgar Square having left a restaurant. At that time I was in the company of two of my staff.
“He approached us and was asking for money from one of my colleagues. He was persistent, extremely persistent, unusually so. It wasn’t just one or two requests: as we walked past, he followed us and kept asking.
“He appeared to be Eastern European from the accent, although he was quite incoherent, slurring his words. I formed the impression that he was under the influence of drink or drugs.
Mr Ellis said that they tried to cross the road to avoid him, but at that point Mr Adam “barged” him. It was at that point Mr Ellis took out his phone and Mr Adam grabbed it.
“He began holding it and twisted his grip to get it out of my hand, with considerable force. I crouched down to give me more leverage.
“I realised then that he was trying to steal the phone.
“The struggle went on for several seconds and I immediately called the police, I began shouting ‘police’. I stamped on his foot with my full force to try and get him to release the phone.
“It seemed to have no effect.
“There was no way, as far as I was concerned, he was going to have that phone.”
An arrest warrant has now been issued for Mr Adam so he can be sentenced.