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Restaurant boss jailed for 12 years for attacking staff

12 September 2016 by
Restaurant boss jailed for 12 years for attacking staff

The boss of a failed restaurant has been jailed for 12 years for attacking two of his staff with a baseball bat in a revenge plot and trying to burn down his business.

Ahmet Dincer, 63, the former owner of the Don Diego tapas restaurant in Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, was described by a judge as a dangerous man who had shown no remorse for his actions.

The Turkish restauranteur was acquitted at Birmingham Crown Court of attempting to murder former chef Carlos Tirado and waitress Monica Lopez.

But he pleaded guilty to wounding Tirado and was convicted by a jury after a week-long trial of attempting to wound Lopez with the intent to cause her grievous bodily harm.

He was also cleared of two counts of arson with intent to endanger life, but convicted of two counts of simple arson.

Dincer, who blamed Tirado and Lopez for a staff rebellion which forced the Sutton Coldfield restaurant to close, lured the pair to an office above the failed business on 8 March.

As they entered the enraged boss smashed a baseball bat across Tirado's head before spraying him with pepper spray and shooting him with a ball-bearing gun.

Tirado, who was commended by Judge Patrick Thomas QC, fought off Dincer pelting him with chairs, bottles of wine and a wine-rack.

He and Lopez were then able to escape to raise the alarm.

Dincer was then seen on CCTV dousing the office in diesel and attempting to set fire to it.

He had earlier poured around two litres of the accelerant around the restaurant downstairs.

When later arrested at his home in Chances Street, Edgbaston, Birmingham, armed police discovered his home had also been soaked in diesel.

He told the restauranteur: "You are a man for whom revenge is a part of his mental attitude and I am unable to detect from you the slightest remorse for what you have done.

"In the future you would feel the same towards the same people or different people in your mind who had caused you grief.

"I am entirely satisfied you present a serious and obvious risk to the public of serious harm caused by you committing further, specified, serious offences."

During the trial it was heard staff quit popular Don Diego's on 13 February, the eve of Valentine's Day in a protest over unpaid wages.

In text messages seen by the jury Dincer referred to Tirado and Lopez as traitors and the head of the snake.

But in a defiant exchange in the witness box, he denied trying to kill the pair saying: "Let's not cheat anyone here: if I wanted to kill them both I could have."

Judge Thomas said Dincer would have faced a life sentence if convicted of attempted murder.

And he said the failed restauranteur's suspicions about his staff were "wholly unreasonable".

He said: "You developed a wholly unreasonable opinion that two of your employees in a restaurant business that failed were in some way responsible for that failure.

"You also decided, entirely unreasonably, they had co-ordinated their resignations with others in order to bring the business down.

"The fact is you had not been paying them and all you had to offer were your promises and they were perfectly entitled not to accept those promises.

"Following the collapse of the business over the Valentine's Day weekend, you decided that you were going to get revenge on them and you planned and calculated how you were going to do that."

Dincer, who also pleaded guilty to possession of an imitation firearm with intent to cause harm to another, was warned he faced deportation back to Turkey on his release from prison.

Robert Cowley, defending, said Dincer had lost his wife, business and life savings and had been left with nothing.

Restaurant boss: ‘I could have killed my staff if I really wanted to' >>

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