‘There was no way he was going to have my phone’: Northampton MP fights off robber in 30-second struggle in street

Michael Ellis, MP for Northampton North
Michael Ellis, MP for Northampton North

Tory MP Michael Ellis told a court how he had to fight off a drunken man who attacked him as he left a restaurant.

Juraj Adam, 38, approached the MP for Northampton North ‘garbling incoherently’ as he walked along the Strand in central London. with two colleagues after 10pm on 17 June.

Adam followed Mr Ellis, 48, down the street asking for money, at one point barging him in the shoulder as he crossed the road near Charing Cross station to try and get away from him.

The MP told Adam he was going to call the police, but when he took his Nokia Lumia phone out the defendant grabbed it.

Mr Ellis ‘tightened his grip’, shouting for police and stamping on the Adam’s foot ‘with his full force’ during a 30-second struggle.

He managed to hold on to his phone when one of his colleagues intervened and pulled Adam off him, but it had been bent, leaving the glass protruding ‘ever so slightly’ from the casing.

Adam was arrested on June 19 and charged with using threatening and abusive behaviour and causing criminal damage.

But he failed to turn up for trial at Hammersmith Magistrates’ Court and was convicted of both charges after Mr Ellis gave evidence in his absence.

He said: “I was walking down the Strand in the direction of Trafalgar Square having left a restaurant. At that time I was in the company of two of my staff.

“He approached us and was asking for money from one of my colleagues. He was persistent, extremely persistent, unusually so. It wasn’t just one or two requests: as we walked past, he followed us and kept asking.

“He appeared to be Eastern European from the accent, although he was quite incoherent, slurring his words. I formed the impression that he was under the influence of drink or drugs.

“On several occasions he was touching me, sort of shoulder to shoulder as we were walking. He hadn’t gone away after some distance, so there was an unspoken decision to cross the road to avoid him.”

As the trio crossed through slow-moving traffic outside Charing Cross station, Adam barged Mr Ellis in the shoulder.

Mr Ellis said: “We crossed over the road and it was almost a barge, but it was a light barge if you like. There was a physical impact and his face was close to mine.

“I said to him ‘if you don’t go away I’m going to call the police’. ‘I lit the phone up and took it out to try and show him that I meant business. Almost immediately when I lit the phone up - I had it in my left hand - he grabbed the phone.

“In the fraction of the moment he was trying to grab it I tightened my grip on the phone. He began holding it and twisted his grip to get it out of my hand, with considerable force. I crouched down to give me more leverage.

“I realised then that he was trying to steal the phone.

“The struggle went on for several seconds and I immediately called the police, I began shouting ‘police’. I stamped on his foot with my full force to try and get him to release the phone.

“It seemed to have no effect.

“There was no way, as far as I was concerned, he was going to have that phone.”

Mr Ellis said he wasn’t sure how the struggle ended, but he believes that one of his colleagues intervened.

“He possibly pulled the man off me,” said Mr Ellis.

Adam, of no fixed address, was found guilty of both charges and a warrant was issued for his arrest so he can be sentenced.