Rafike Riaz, a 43-year-old bouncer from Great Lever in Greater Manchester, has been jailed for threatening a Chinese takeaway and demanding money. Bizarrely, the row erupted after the takeaway put peas in his dinner.
According to The Bolton News, he ordered a £6.70 Chinese banquet from Dragon City in Leigh, Greater Manchester, but was furious when he discovered that his meal contained peas. He initially asked for his money back, but when they handed the cash over, he threw the food at staff. In the ensuing scuffle he was hit on the nose by a small calculator.
The Leigh Journal reported that he came back the next day and demanded they give him £1,000 'compensation' - or he would damage the takeaway and 'put them out of business'. They were so frightened that they handed over £500. However, when he returned again the following day demanding more money, they called the police.
He was tried last week, and the court saw CCTV footage of the confrontations. He was jailed for two years for blackmail and ordered to pay £500 compensation. He also has a restraining order stopping him from visiting the business or the owners.
The Mirror reported that the judge said: "This was appalling behaviour. People are entitled to peace and quiet when they run their business and entitled to be protected from thugs such as you."
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It's not the first time a criminal has been undone by food and drink. We covered the story in August of the burglar who broke into a flat on his own street and started searching the home. The owner woke and surprised him, and he fled empty-handed. However, he also left his can of lager at the scene, and DNA evidence trapped the criminal.
We also reported last May on the peckish burglar who tucked into a packet of Jaffa Cakes while he was ransacking a home, and was caught by the fingerprints he left on the plastic wrapper.
In 2012 there was a 35-year-old man who broke into a restaurant in Cambridge - stealing money and a mobile phone. While he was there, he took a wwig from a bottle of Champagne - which gave police all the DNA they needed in order to catch him.
However, on other occasions, food and drink have actually set a criminal free. In 2012 a convicted Mafia mobster was freed from an Italian prison 12 months into a 15 year sentence, because he was intolerant to the peas, beans and spinach served by the prison. He was put under house arrest in Palermo.
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