Underage police cadets served alcohol at Hoxton pub whose head chef spiked truffles with ecstacy

The Red Lion pub, Hoxton Street.

The Red Lion pub, Hoxton Street. - Credit: Archant

The Red Lion in Hoxton Street, whose head chef was convicted of spiking chocolate truffles with ecstasy is in trouble with police again after they caught bar staff serving underage police cadets.

The Red Lion pub, Hoxton Street.

The Red Lion pub, Hoxton Street. - Credit: Archant

The Red Lion, in Hoxton Street, was closed in late 2011 after Class A drugs found their way into food, which was consumed by EastEnders actor Charlie Webster, who reported having an “out-of-body experience” after eating two of the “special” chocolate truffles.

It was alleged that head chef Neil Iron had laced the desserts with the party drug to “liven up” a birthday celebration the night before the incident, on October 9, 2011.

At the time environmental health officers found the pub’s kitchen was below the required food hygiene standards and issued an improvement notice, and the premises’ licence holder agreed a temporary closure with police.

Now police are threatening to shut the pub again after police cadets were served alcohol in three spot checks over the course of a year, as part of Operation Condor, the Met’s London-wide crack down on licensing issues.

Police claim a 17-year old was served two bottles of Heineken beer last June, two 16-year old girls were served Jack Daniels in November and a 16 and 17-year old were served two pints of Guinness in April.

In his report on November 30 Pc Ian Simpkins said: “I spoke with the female cadets outside where they told me they had not been asked about their age at any point or asked for ID.

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“We exited the venue with the cadets, who gave the drinks to Pc Harmer, who disposed of the alcohol by pouring it down the nearest drain.”

The matter was due to be heard at a licensing meeting last month, but it was deferred at the request of the Red Lion’s management and will now be held in September.

Pc Simpkins said: “We still have our original concerns and will still be seeking some form of sanction.

“But we are in discussion with the venue and hope measures will be put in place that will set it back on an acceptable course.”

Last June a jury at Snaresbrook Crown Court found Mr Iron, 32, of Charles Gardner Court, Haberdasher Street, Hoxton, guilty of one count of administering poison or a noxious substance with intent, namely methylenedioxymethylamphetamine or MDMA.

He was cleared of two further identical counts relating to two hospitalised toddlers.

Mr Iron denied the charges, insisting he would never put drugs in food and claimed the chocolate truffles could have been tampered with by guests at the party.

However, he was sentenced to a nine-month prison term suspended for 18 months, as well as being told to undertake 180 hours unpaid work and pay £2,500 court costs.

The pub declined to comment on the matter.