A beauty salon owner has denied accusations of homophobia.

Paul Creane and Jhon Jairo Yepes Giraldo say staff at the Sapphire salon in High Road in Woodford Green refused to treat them together because they are a gay couple.

But Shanila Ghani, who owns Sapphire, says they are lying and she claims that staff called the police because they felt threatened when Mr Creane visited the salon to complain.

She said: “These allegations of homophobia are completely fake.

“Nobody ever said that we don’t treat homosexuals. Why would any of us say that?

“I have a lot of gay friends and we treat anyone no matter if they are gay or straight.

“The only thing is if a new male client asks for a massage we always say you can only do it if you are accompanied by a female.

“That is because we have had some very bad experiences previously and for the safety of our staff – who are all female – we don’t allow new male clients in unless they are with a woman.”

Mr Creane says he reported the salon to the police for homophobia last night, but Mrs Ghani says her staff have already reported him.

She said: “I think he was trying to make trouble from the very beginning.

“They were so scared by his behaviour they called the police.”