AN ASIAN man on a day trip to Redcar has spoken of his horror after he was dragged from a cafe by police accusing him of being a terrorist.

Bish Sharif had only been in town for 30 minutes when he was thrown in a police van and told he was being held under the powers of the anti terrorism act and warned he was not allowed to speak.

The head of services for teenagers at Derbyshire County Council was left badly shaken by the incident which he maintains was racially motivated.

And Cleveland Police have apologised for any disruption caused as a result of the incident.

The 42-year-old, who is on holiday in Whitby, was in The Terrace Cafe, on West Terrace, with his partner, Jonathan Moseley, who is a judge on BBC2's The Big Allotment Challenge, when his day was turned upside down.

“It was absolutely horrendous,” he said. “It was the worst thing that has ever happened to me. We were just sat there having a coffee and waiting for our food when all these police vehicles turned up and told me I was under suspicion of planning a terrorist plot.

“We only got to Redcar at 2pm and by 2.30pm I was being held in the rear of a police vehicle and they were refusing to allow me to ask questions or speak.

“The only reason I can think of why I was picked out by the police was because I’m Asian – it was absolutely ridiculous.”

Mr Sharif said the officers only started to take any notice of what he was saying when he threatened to start recording their behaviour.

“There is no way they can justify their behaviour,” he said. “They wouldn’t listen to me and just kept telling me that I wasn’t entitled to speak. They said they had information that I fitted the description of someone who had been acting suspiciously but they simply wouldn’t listen to me.

“Thankfully, I know the law and told them that before warning them I would start recording what they were doing and saying on my mobile phone. As soon as I said that they started to listen to me and eventually let me out of the vehicle so I could return to the cafe.

“It was absolutely shocking the way that they treated me, and I can only think that it was just because I’m Asian.”

A Cleveland Police spokeswoman said the incident had been down to a misunderstanding.

She said: “We would like to apologise to these two gentlemen for any disruption to their afternoon caused by some confusion with descriptions.”