Pub landlord facing jail for killing of American with ironing board
A gastropub landlord is facing jail for killing a wealthy eccentric American with an ironing board.
Rostam Notarki chased 53-year-old Charles Hickox out of the Cardinal Wolsey near Hampton Court Palace after the victim went to confront staff about a missing credit card.
The publican "jabbed" Mr Hickox with the ironing board sending him hurtling into the path of an on-coming van.
Notarki, 53, of Beech Way, Twickenham, denied the killing, claiming he was acting in self defence as he feared his son would be attacked after Mr Hickox bashed him with a tennis racquet.
But the Old Bailey jury rejected his defence and found him guilty of manslaughter on July 1. He had already admitted hiding CCTV footage of the incident from a police search of the pub.
His son Kian, 20, and barman Mehrad Mohmadi, 45, of Radcliffe Mews, Hampton, Middlesex, who helped conceal the hard drive and monitor, were also convicted of perverting the course of justice.
The court had heard Mr Hickox was an American gambler who while giving the appearance of being a homeless tramp did in fact have access to large amounts of money.
Among the possessions he carried around with him in blue plastic bags were two tennis racquets and two ornamental mice, which he would place in front of him in pubs and talk to.
The "scruffy and unkempt" drifter, who had a talent for calculating the odds, had been at the Wolsey earlier on Sunday, September 7, last year to buy three bottles of fine Italian wine at £65 a piece.
Notarki had switched the wine for a cheaper vintage before ejecting him from the bar of the smart gastropub and hotel, jurors were told.
When the victim realised that the Visa card he used to pay for the bottles was missing he went back with a tennis racquet in each hand to demand it back, having told his companions he might "have to crack some ribs to get it".
The victim pushed the landlord using one of the racquets then ran off, with Notarki in hot pursuit carrying an ironing board and his son Kian holding an iron bar.
As he was being chased outside the pub, a witness described Mr Hickox as looking "terrified" and "running for his life", the court heard.
The defendants who are on bail will be sentenced later at the Old Bailey by Judge Mark Lucraft QC.