This week 30 years ago: Gunmen ‘chicken out’ of Finsbury Park restaurant robbery, City University ‘toxic fumes’ row

Islington Gazette: February 19, 1988

Islington Gazette: February 19, 1988 - Credit: Archant

A restaurant boss came out on top against raiders who held him at gunpoint.

Anthony Cumberbatch, 35, owned Auntie’s in Rock Street, Finsbury Park. He told the raiders, who were waving a gun at him for cash: “Come round and get it if you want it.” But, he added, “they chickened out and backed out the door.”

Mr Cumberbatch, who had owned the restaurant for eight years, had to stop one of his customers going after the gunmen.

In other news, tenants on the Spa Green and Finsbury Estates were having a bizarre row with City University.

They claimed they were living in fear of “toxic” fumes coming out of the uni’s chemistry department. Their fears increased when fire crews were called to a small fire there.


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Tenant Martin O’Connor said: “We are scared they are going to blow each other up.”

But a disbelieving Robert Blakeman, City’s safety officer, retorted: “These claims are extraordinary. If you live near a chemistry department, you do expect to have a few smells.”

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