Actress who abused restaurant staff 'wore disguise to beat injunction'

EXCLUSIVE: Actress who racially abused and attacked staff at posh Notting Hill chip shop ‘shouted at victim: ‘I’m an aristocrat, I grew up in a castle’ and donned wig and mask disguise to beat banning injunction’

  • Sophie Gatacre, 57, assaulted restaurant manager Hamza Ahmed on May 29
  • Actress returned on July 2 and assaulted the restaurant owner Timothy Haigh
  • Neighbours claim she terrorises street and scares customers from businesses
  • Businessman claims Gatacre wore disguise after police imposed an injunction 

A ‘nightmare’ actress who racially abused and attacked chip shop staff has tormented businesses in the area for many months, hurling racial insults at ‘anyone who speaks a foreign language’, neighbours have claimed.

Sophie Gatacre called Hamza Ahmed ‘a dirty Bangladeshi man’ before slapping him across the face at The Chipping Forecast in Notting Hill, west London.

A few weeks later, the 57-year-old, who has performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, returned and assaulted restaurant owner Timothy Haigh.

Gatacre was conditionally discharged for two years, fined £400 and order to pay compensation after pleading guilty to both assaults at Westminster Magistrates Court earlier this year. 

The restaurant received many rave reviews before closing down in August, with one customer commenting ‘amazing staff, very friendly and caring and very cute little spot’.

Now neighbours of the restaurant have claimed that Gatacre has terrorised the street for months and even donned a disguise to get around an injunction imposed by the police. 

Sophie Gatacre (pictured for her comedy play Samantha’s Hotline) assaulted the manager of an upmarket fish and chip restaurant and returned two months later to attack the owner

They say the actress is well known to other businesses on All Saints Road in Notting Hill and that she could clear a terrace full of customers in minutes .

Pierre Saison, 28, an architect from Lille who works next door said: ‘She’s been a nightmare for everyone on the street, because she would harass their customers by screaming and shouting insults.

‘Almost everyday, the fish and chip shop and cafe next door had to move their customers inside because she was so aggressive.

‘Sometimes she would stay here all day long, from like 10am to 3pm, just harassing people – within 10 minutes she could empty all of the terraces.

‘She would racially insult anyone who wasn’t from this country, including our staff here and customers.

‘I’m French and my colleague is Italian, and she would shout “my father is Scottish'”and “this my country” as soon as she heard us speaking another language.’

Gatacre, who has toured with her comedy play as well as appearing in TV and film roles, was conditionally discharged for two years, fined £400 and ordered to pay victims compensation

A businessman a few doors down who asked to remain anonymous, said: ‘Sophie is known to many and it’s been an accumulation over many months.

‘Police have been down here for Sophie dozens of times – at least 15 to 20 times, before.

‘She was foul to him [Hamza], just awful.

‘She’s always incredibly aggressive and incredibly rude to everyone – even to people who are walking around with kids.

‘Once she shouted at me in the street. She said “you’re just a coffee shop owner, I’m an aristocrat, I grew up in a castle”.’

‘She was banned from coming down this street because there was an injunction against her.

Both assaults happened at The Chipping Forecast, in Notting Hill, which has since closed but neighbours of the upmarket restaurant say she has terrorised the whole street for months

‘But guess what she did? She got a disguise – a black wig and face mask. She’s a prime example of someone needs help but isn’t getting it.’

A woman, who owns a business further down the road, said: ‘Sophie is known to many businesses in the area because she was always causing havoc.

‘I think she particularly picked on Tim at The Chipping Forecast because he stood up to her.

‘It really was constant, every night she would come by the restaurant and start shouting while customers were eating.

‘She was banned from coming down the street because they took out an injunction against her, but she always found a way.

‘Once I wouldn’t let her in the door because it was a Sunday and she just started banging and kicking it.

‘I’ve seen her shouting at people in the street and other shopkeepers – anyone who gives her attention basically.

‘She needs help, but doesn’t want it and isn’t getting it.’

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