Millionaire philanthropist Sir Harry Djanogly to face trial over alleged assault on police officer


A millionaire philanthropist will face trial next year over claims he dragged a police officer 30 yards along a dual carriageway.

Sir Harry Djanogly, 76, who has an estimated personal fortune of £300million, was stopped by the officer for allegedly speeding in his Jaguar.

The textiles manufacturer was accompanied today by solicitor Nick 'Mr Loophole' Freeman, who sat in the public gallery during a brief appearance at Isleworth Crown Court.

Wearing a dark navy suit and smiling at the dock officer, Sir Harry learned he would face trial for common assault and dangerous driving in February next year.

Previously it was reported that Sir Harry was driving his silver Jaguar XK on The Westway A40, Hammersmith, when he allegedly assaulted Police Sergeant Robert McDonald on 27 December 2014.

Sir Harry, who was a refugee from the Nazis and was knighted in 1993 for services to charity, had claimed his wife, Lady Carol Ann Djanogly, who was also in the vehicle, was suffering chest pains and had an urgent hospital appointment.

At a previous hearing at Hammersmith Magistrates court it was claimed that police officers in a marked vehicle estimated Sir Harry was driving at more than 70mph in a 50mph zone and tried to stop him at around 8pm.

He slowed sufficiently to allow PS McDonald to approach, the court was told, but then revved his engine and said: 'I'm not stopping.'

The vehicle moved forward, causing Police Sergeant McDonald to fall backwards and lose his balance, fearing injury if he fell under the wheels

After a sudden burst of acceleration the officer grabbed the steering wheel with both hands and the car veered towards oncoming traffic.

The distance allegedly covered was twenty-five metres.

Addressing Sir Harry, Judge Robin Johnson said: "You must be back here on the 15 September for your plea and case management hearing.

"Your trial will take place on the 29 February. Bail will be as before."

Sir Harry fled Nazi Germany with his family in 1936 and started-out as a supplier of stockings and hosiery in Nottingham, his adopted city, which has benefited from charitable donations of £1m to fund the City Technology Centre.

This later became the Djanogly City Academy, while he also contributed £750,000 towards the University of Nottingham's arts centre at Highfields.

Sir Harry and Lady Carol are members of the Tate International Council, while he has made significant financial contributions to the Tate Modern, Tate Britain and the Victoria & Albert Museum.

In 2008 The British Museum opened the Sir Harry and Lady Djanogly Gallery for Clocks and Watches and he helped develop the Jewish Museum project and the Royal Ballet School has a 'Djanogly Studio'.

He is believed to own the world's largest collection of work by artist LS Lowry, as well as paintings by Picasso and Monet.

He was released today on unconditional bail.

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