The landlord of a pub in Southwest London has been sentenced to seven years in prison for his role in the death of a customer. According to the Guardian, Rostam Notarki, landlord of the Cardinal Wolsey, an upscale pub, chased 53-year-old American customer Charles Hickox out of the pub and "jabbed" him with an ironing board from behind, sending Hickox "hurtling into he path of an oncoming van," which resulted in his death.
Hickox dressed like a homeless man — he would carry around two tennis racquets, blue plastic bags, and two ornamental mice "which he would place in front of him in pubs and talk to" — but he was actually quite wealthy. Last year, Hickox had entered the pub and ordered three expensive bottles of wine (which Notarki switched for cheaper vintages). When he realized the credit card he used to pay for his drinks was missing, Hickox went back into the pub "with a tennis racquet in each hand" to demand it back. Hickox apparently pushed Notarki with one of the racquets and that is when Notarki lost his cool and grabbed the ironing board. A witness describes Hickox as looking scared and "running for his life."
The Evening Standard writes that Notarki claimed that he only hit Hickox with an ironing board out of self-defense, but the judge did not believe him. It probably did not help his case that he admitted to hiding the CCTV footage of the incident from the police.
Notarki isn't the first restaurant owner to not take kindly to someone who appeared to be homeless. In May, a McDonald's in England refused to serve a customer because he "looked homeless." The customer was a gardener who had stopped into the restaurant in his work gear. He says he was only wearing scruffy clothes because he was working outside all day and that he is disgusted by how he was treated.