Chef arrested ‘for protecting my life’

The Ivanhoe pub . Scarborough . pic Richard Ponter 155111
The Ivanhoe pub . Scarborough . pic Richard Ponter 155111

A chef who apprehended a suspected pub arsonist has slammed the police after they arrested him for assault.

Ivanhoe Hotel cook Martin Winter tackled the fleeing suspect after a blaze broke out next to his bedroom.

“I’ve been arrested just for protecting my life,” claimed the 43-year-old.

Part of the popular pub suffered a blaze late on Sunday night in what is the second fire to hit the pub since August.

Mr Winter says he spotted smoke and flames pouring out of the room before calling 999.

He then used what he claims was reasonable force to restrain the suspect.

That scuffle put the arson suspect in hospital for two days, before he was bailed without charge.

But the chef claims: “I just acted on instinct – anybody else would have done the same.

“I didn’t want the man to get away as this is where I live and this is my home – if I think someone has put that and me in danger I don’t want them escaping.

“I did see red but I felt my life had been put in danger and I thought I was doing the right thing.”

However, after restraining the suspect police arrived and to his shock arrested both the 22-year-old arson suspect before handcuffing Mr Winter.

He then spent 18 hours behind bars, and claims police have still not returned his phone despite the fact 
he was also being bailed without charge.

Landlady Jeannette DuPont said the fire was a blow after spending almost £50,000 on a revamp following August’s fire.

However the pub is open and the damage is minimal, largely, she claims, down to her chef’s quick thinking.

“There could have been children in the hotel and my son is below, so for me Martin has potentially saved lives by spotting the fire,” she said. Fire crews raced to the Scalby Mills Road pub straight away, helping to limit the damage to just the room, which contains Christmas crackers and other festive goods.

However the pub will be open over the Christmas period, thanks, Jeannette says, to her chef’s actions.

And she added: “If he’s charged I think it would be disgusting.”