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Steel pan champ launches formal complaint after pub ban
A manager of the Hungry Horse pub in in Birmingham claimed the talented musician was trying to 'hawk' around his music
Written by Poppy Brady
26/10/2015 02:55 PM
BANNED: Mighty Jamma
STEELPAN champion Mighty Jamma has put in a formal complaint to West Midlands Police after he was arrested outside one of his regular pubs, where he says the manager has banned him without giving any reason why.
The popular entertainer, who is a national three-time champion soloist steelpan player, spent a night in the cells at Birmingham’s Steelhouse Police Station after being arrested outside the Hungry Horse pub, also known as The Beeches, in Perry Barr, Birmingham, on September 25.
He was bailed and told he could face charges of harassment, but they have since been dropped, so now he has put in formal complaints to both the police and the pub, run by brewery giant Greene King.
“I’ve been going to this pub for the past 15 years and under the last management I used to play in there for free,” said Mighty Jamma, 48
“I had been talking to friends in there about my latest CD when the management decided that I was trying to hawk round my music, which was certainly not the case. I have been playing the steelpans for more than 35 years and people come to me to buy my music – I have never needed to ask people.
“The arrest came as a complete shock as I had been sitting in my van outside the pub, when officers suddenly pulled up and asked me to step out of my vehicle. They arrested and handcuffed me without giving me any reason, despite the fact that the officer who took me in confirmed I was both compliant and polite.
“I found the whole process extremely humiliating. I am not an aggressive person – as an entertainer I am used to mixing with all kinds of people and I have their respect.”
Jamma received three letters earlier this year from staff representing HRH the Queen, the Prince of Wales and Prince William, all thanking him for sending them CDs of his music.
His enforced overnight stay at the police station last month meant that he missed his Saturday morning interview slot with presenter Mollie Green on BBC Radio WM to talk about his award-winning musical career, which has taken him all over the world.
He started jamming on pots and pans from the age of nine.
He added: “I also feel it is insulting to customers when pub managements decide they can ban you without giving any reason why.”
A spokesperson for the Hungry Horse pub said: “The Beeches is a family friendly pub and the primary concern is creating a safe and sociable environment to be enjoyed by all. The manager has the right to refuse entry to anyone whose behaviour they feel is impacting on that enjoyment of other customers.
“In this instance, having investigated the matter internally, we support the decision of the manager to bar the customer because of his behaviour. When the customer refused to leave the pub, the police were called to assist.”
A spokesperson for West Midlands Police said: “Officers attended The Beeches pub in Perry Barr on 25th September following a complaint of harassment. A 48-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of harassment and later released without charge.
“We can confirm that we have received a letter of complaint from Mr Stewart. We cannot comment any further.”