By John Elworthy , The Editor
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
A PUB landlord has admitted to police he lied about fighting off four attackers outside a Wisbech fish and chip shop.
The alleged attack- which made international news after John Wood, 37, first told his story to the Wisbech Standard - never happened.
The ‘heroic’ derring-do pub landlord from the Marshland Arms has even been forced to cough up an £80 fixed penalty notice for wasting police time.
Police have refused to confirm the precise nature of Wood’s confession but said, in a brief statement today, that a “37 year old male was yesterday issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice for wasting police time”.
How Wood received his wounds - seen by our reporter and photographer - is not known but police are assured he did NOT get them from fielding off attackers.
Detectives visited Wood to follow up reports of the attack and discovered aspects of the story that didn’t tie up.
Although police have not confirmed it, Wood would have been forced to admit he had lied to have been let off - and agree to - a fixed penalty notice for wasting their time.
Detective Inspector Dave Murphy said: “This man not only wasted police time, but he also raised the fear of crime in the local community.
“I hope this serves as a lesson to anyone who thinks they can lie to the police and get away with it.”
Wood had alleged that four men cornered him in an alleyway off Lynn Road, Wisbech, as he emerged from Frank’s Fish & Chip Shop.
But, despite suffering a stab wound which he claimed required 18 stitches, the 37-year-old alleged he floored all four of his attackers - and left with his dinner intact.
Wood claimed he had trained in martial arts as a teenager and said the men “stopped me and demanded my phone and wallet. I told them if they wanted it, come and get it.
“They all came at me at once. I kicked two of them in the leg. I used to do a little bit of aikido and I remembered to go for the knees. They fell to the floor and couldn’t get up.
“As I did that another clipped me in the face. I turned around and hit him and he fell.”
He then went into detail about the attacked and claimed “I didn’t even drop the chips. “It was all done one-handed. They weren’t even squashed when I got home!”
Wood, who owns the Marshland Arms, in Marshland St James, returned to his fiancée Claire Upton after the incident.
She later wrote on Facebook that the attackers “had picked a fight with the wrong man and they were left in a heap.”
One Cambs police officer described the incident today as a “Mickey Mouse went to Mars” adventure type story. He felt Wood was lucky to have been let off with a fixed penalty notice.
On the pub’s own Facebook page, dozens of complimentary messages of support for their landlord are still publicly available.
“Well done for having a go,” wrote one customer.