Hale Wine Bar owner held teenager hostage after cocaine and red wine binge
Minshull Street Crown Court in Manchester heard that Ashley Brown, 40, bundled 19-year-old Max Slipper into the venue and subjected him to a terrifying 45-minute ordeal during which he threatened to cut off his toe.
Brown forced the teenager to remove his coat, shoes and socks and also roll up his trouser leg before he began swinging a kitchen knife at him.
He also repeatedly punched Max about the head in bouts of aggression – and then moments later tried to hug him and shake his hand.
The youngster – who worked as a barman at a nearby pub – eventually escaped when he kicked the glass front door of the bar as Brown tried to give him a bundle of £20 notes saying: “I want to die.”
Brown, who had vowed to put the “wow factor” into his Hale Wine Bar when it opened, later blamed his consumption of cocaine and red wine for him suffering a “paranoid delusion” and claimed he mistakenly thought his victim was a drug dealer.
But in a statement Max – who lived just a few streets away from Brown’s bar – said he no longer felt safe in the wealthy village which is home to Premiership footballers and TV stars.
He told police: “I have had many sleepless nights as I wake up thinking about what happened and what could have happened that night.
“I was in fear for my life and I really did believe he was going to cause me serious harm. To me the whole thing just seemed like a nightmare and I would not want anyone else to through what I did.”
The incident took place last October, ten months after Brown opened his wine and cocktail bar using money from his wealthy father having earlier been Operations Director at the former celebrity nightspot Brasingamens in Alderley Edge.
The court heard that the incident was filmed on Brown’s own CCTV cameras which was seized by police. He had three previous convictions including an offence of battery.
Guy Mathieson, defending, said: “When Mr Brown was presented with the CCTV footage he was supremely shocked. The person that was subjecting the complainant to intimidation and violence is not someone that he recognises.
“He is a businessman and a family man with a daughter. There are a number of references that have been provided from people who him and respect him. The contrast between who he is on that CCTV to what he is everyday is markedly different.
Passing sentence, Mr Recorder Neville Biddle told Brown: “You had been drinking and you took drugs as well and you began to suffer from some degree of paranoid delusion. I have watched the CCTV of what went on that evening and your behaviour was strange.
“Max was made to sit at the bar and at 4.25 am you hit him and then straight after that you hugged him. At 4.45 you hit him with three forceful punches and a minute later four more punches and this is when you got a knife and threatened to cut his toes off.
“It does not take a genius to think about how this would have made him feel. You subjected him to a terrifying ordeal.”