THE owner of one of the best-known bars in the district has spoken of his relief after criminal charges against him were dropped.

Adam Brooks, 30, owner of the Nu Bar, in Loughton High Road, was due to stand trial next year charged with causing grievous bodily harm, but the Crown Prosecution Service has now dropped all criminal action against him.

The charge related to an incident which took place outside the Nu Bar on October 17 last year.

Mr Brooks said: “On that evening we had two groups of men from the East London area who weren't known to me or the door staff.

“These two groups decided to pick an argument with each other inside the bar. They were removed from the bar by the door staff peacefully walking out of their own accord.

“Unfortunately, when everyone was outside a large disturbance happened in the road outside Nu Bar. Five doormen I employ at the bar had to go and deal with it taking away every security man I had inside.

“During that incident a man involved in the fracas outside decided to run back into the bar with his shirt off shouting and screaming at customers, threatening staff members. I realised I couldn't get any of my doormen to help me because they were dealing with the fracas outside.

“I asked the man to leave. He refused. I felt at that point he was such a danger to the customers and my staff I had to remove him. I pulled him out the door and unfortunately we fell down the step on the porch. Both of us fell to the ground and he sustained a very serious injury to his right arm.”

Mr Brooks was arrested at the scene and spent 20 hours in the cells at Loughton Police Station.

He said: “When I was arrested I said: 'Are you joking? What for?' I was given my rights and told I was arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm.

“At first I was dumbfounded. The first thing I did was laugh because I couldn't see why. I didn't realise the severity of the guy's injuries, I didn't believe it was my fault. I was shocked quite frankly.”

After months of bail hearings and court appearances, the case against Mr Brooks was dropped yesterday (October 27), and, although relieved at the outcome, he is angry about the length of time taken to clear him.

“It's been a shambles from start to finish,” he said. “I've got good words to say about the police because they keep control of our road. They do a good job. Unfortunately, the CPS is another matter.

“I'm very aggrieved with how long it's took. It's taken them a year to realise I haven't got a case to answer and that's what they said in court: they had no realistic chance of prosecution, they offered no evidence.

“It's caused me a year of stress, a year with something hanging over me, and it's given me a bad name locally.

“I've been met by local businessmen who've refused to deal with me because they think I'm some sort of thug from what they've read in the paper. I've had professionals making sly comments asking if I'm violent. This wasn't an attack, this was me looking after my customers and me looking after my staff.

“Nu Bar locally is the biggest venue in Epping Forest people-wise. It has a good name and I work closely with the police. We have more customers than anyone else in the district but I have a better safety record than local pubs in the area.

“This was the first time in five years I've had to physically get involved in an ejection of a trouble-maker.”

Mr Brooks said he had now filed a claim to recover his £10,000 legal costs from the CPS adding: “It's a shame tax-payers have to pay that.”

A spokeswoman for the CPS said: "On review of this case the Crown Prosecution Service concluded that there was not a realistic prospect of conviction due to a conflict of evidence.

"The role of the CPS is to review cases and to determine whether they meet the test of the Code for Crown Prosecutors; this case did not meet the evidential part of that test.

"It is therefore our duty to withdraw the matter at the earliest opportunity rather than proceed with a case through the courts that is highly unlikely to result in a conviction, which additionally would be a waste of public money and resource.

"However, if we were presented with new evidence, as with any case, we can then look at the matter again."