May 19 2013 Latest news:
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
A top chef who once served afternoon tea to the Queen is facing jail for spiking chocolate truffles with Ecstasy.
Neil Iron, 32, laced the desserts with the party drug to “liven up” a birthday celebration at the Red Lion pub in Hoxton Square, Hoxton.
Victim Charlie Webster had an “out-of-body experience” after eating two “special” chocolate truffles left over from the party, Snaresbrook Crown Court was told.
During cross examination by prosecutor Jack Talbot, Iron insisted that he would never put drugs in food and denied telling Mr Webster that the truffles had been spiked.
He insisted: “I have never suggested there were drugs in any of the products. I’m not going to say to someone, ‘Would you like some drug-laced food products?’ when you are about to sit in my restaurant.”
Iron, of Haberdasher Street, Hoxton, claimed the chocolate truffles could have been tampered with by guests at the party on October 8 last year and denied all three counts of administering poison or a noxious substance with intent.
A jury of five men and seven women found him guilty of one count but cleared him of a further two relating to two toddlers who were taken to hospital after sharing a chocolate pudding.
Iron, a former head chef at The Royal Marsden hospital in Chelsea, once served the Queen and Prince Edward afternoon tea when they opened a cancer rehabilitation centre. He also reached the semi-finals of the National Chef of the Year awards and was named the most promising catering student of the year at college.
He was cautioned for possession of cocaine last year.
Adjourning sentence until July 20, Judge Neil Sanders warned Iron that the administration of Ecstasy crossed the custody threshold.