Benares owner to stand trial accused of trying to spike woman's drink

23 February 2024 by
Benares owner to stand trial accused of trying to spike woman's drink

A restaurant boss who owns two Michelin-starred establishments has denied attempting to spike a woman's drink at a private members' club in London's Mayfair.

Vikas Nath, 61, is accused of attempting to administer a substance with intent on January 15 and possession of the Class B drug gamma-butyrolactone (GBL) on the same day.

The first charge states he attempted to administer the drug "with the intention of stupefying or overpowering her as to enable to enable you to engage in sexual activity".

His alleged victim cannot be named for legal reasons.

Nath is listed on Companies House as a director of Termdeal Ltd, which is behind high-end Indian restaurant Benares in Mayfair.

According to his LinkedIn profile, the company's portfolio includes seven restaurants in the UK and Spain, two of which hold Michelin stars.

Nath, of Knightsbridge, London, appeared at Southwark Crown Court on Monday, where he spoke only to confirm his name and reply "not guilty" when the charges were put to him by the court clerk.

Dressed in a blue shirt and tie, and black and white pin-striped suit, he did not appear in the dock for the 10-minute hearing because he has a hearing problem.

A trial, estimated to last four to five days, was fixed for February 2026.

Judge Philip Bartle KC told him: "As you have pleaded not guilty, there will be a trial, unfortunately not for some considerable time."

The defendant was bailed on condition that he lives and sleeps at his home, surrenders his passports, does not travel south of the river Thames unless to attend court, and remains at home between 11pm and 7am.

He is also banned from entering a licensed premises that sells alcohol and he cannot contact the alleged victim, either directly or indirectly.

Image: Zeynep Demir Aslim / Shutterstock

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