Businessman falsely accused chef of being a pedophile when Indian restaurant Belgravia went bankrupt
A former executive falsely accused his business partner of being a pedophile and harassed a Michelin-starred chef when their luxury Indian restaurant went bankrupt, a court heard.
Ansarul Alom, 36, worked with Saket Shrivastava and chef Peter Joseph at the exclusive Kahani restaurant in Belgravia but was fired as director when it ran into financial difficulties, the Westminster Magistrates Court was told.
The couple harassed widely, even calling the NSPCC and accusing Father Shrivastava of being part of a pedophile gang, a businessman’s lawyer said.
Joseph reported Alom to the police after he received a torrent of angry messages from June to December last year, labeling him as a “f***ing idiot,” “liar” and “low-life.”
The 43-year-old chief told the court he had to move, change cars and switch phone numbers to try and stop the bullying.
Ansarul Alom, 36, worked with Saket Shrivastava and Peter Joseph at the exclusive Kahani restaurant in Belgravia, but was fired as director when it ran into financial difficulties, the Westminster Magistrates Court was told.
The chef also suspected Alom of posting negative reviews on TripAdvisor in an effort to destroy the reputation of his popular company, which received a Travelers’ Choice Award on the website last year.
An email from Alom to Mr. Joseph said, “You can block me all you want, God knows this is wrong.
“The entire industry now knows you’re a scammer. How can you claim to be religious and God-fearing when you treat people like that.’
Widely claimed he had to deal with creditors when Kahani went bankrupt.
He alleges that Mr Joseph and Shrivastava, 47, held him liable for unpaid bills totaling £400,000 after he was evicted from the restaurant.
In an impact statement read in court, Mr Shrivastava described feeling “worried, anxious and frustrated about the reputational damage that was intended to undermine his business.”
Ms. Leila Naheboo-Osman, the prosecutor, told the court of the case where Alom called the NSPCC to make baseless charges against Mr. Shrivastava.
Chef Peter Joseph, 43, told the court he had to move, change cars and switch phone numbers to try and stop the bullying.
She said: ‘He accused him of being part of a pedophile gang that takes care of children.
‘After the call was made, the police went around to investigate how the victim was treating’ [his own] child.
‘That caused a lot of suffering to the victim. The police found no evidence of what was being claimed.”
When Alom was found guilty of harassment, District Judge Michael Snow said he was “probably the only person in the room who thinks calling someone a ‘damn idiot’ isn’t offensive.”
The judge had said he did not believe Alom’s allegations, saying the chief had “moved home because he was being harassed so much and was so afraid of him.”
Alex Mullen defended: ‘The text messages are very unappealing. They revolve around business operations.
“They were not legitimate demands for money from the restaurant to the defendant.”
The chef also suspected Alom of posting negative reviews on TripAdvisor in an effort to improve the reputation of his popular restaurant Kahani. to destroy
Mr Mullen also stressed that an unknown person attended Mr Joseph’s address while Alom’s harassment was going on.
He said, “The reason he moved home is because of the unknown person, not the messages.”
In issuing the verdict, Magistrate Carolyn Mishon said, “We have considered the impact on the victims and your admissions of guilt.”
Alom, from Barking, was sentenced to 12 months’ community service for doing 200 hours of unpaid work.
A restraining order was also imposed prohibiting Alom from contacting Mr. Joseph and Mr. Shrivastava or posting anything about them on social media.
He was also not allowed to go to the Kahani restaurant and the addresses of the victim.
He had admitted two charges under the Communications Act 2003. Widely denied intimidation without violence, for which he was convicted.