Customers drinking in the Red Lion in Ealing, west London, came to the rescue last night, as they fought off rioters looking to vandalise and loot the premises.
Lessee of the Fuller's pub Jonathan Lee said that windows were smashed by rioters trying to get into the pub at 11.00pm. But his customers began shouting at the youths, scaring them away, when they tried to enter the premises. The rioters also set fire to two cars outside his pub.
"It was a pretty scary half an hour," said Lee. "But luckily I had some good customers in who managed to persuade the rioters otherwise. It all seemed to be concentrated around here as the police had managed to get them out of the town centre. No one was hurt, it just left a few of the staff traumatised.
"We called the police two or three times, but nothing."
The Kings Arms, near to the Red Lion, was also targeted, but at 2.30am. Alan O'Donoghue, manager at the Enterprise Inns pub, said: "The rioters managed to kick in the door at 2.30 this morning and tried to set the building on fire. We called the police and luckily the rioters ran off. Who knows what damage this will do to the business."
Other venues in Ealing, set in the town-centre, such as the North Star and Broadway Bar, owned by Mitchells & Butlers, were advised to close early, and so were not affected. However O'Neill's suffered minor glass damage.
The Ealing office of the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers was untouched by the riots. However, Nick Bish, chief executive, said: "I have been in Ealing this morning and it is very damaged. I saw some burned out cars and some cafes and bars have been burnt out. It is unpleasant."
Pubs were under seige in parts of London and cities across the country as violence and looting escalated. Businesses were looted as far afield as Birmingham, Bristol and Liverpool and areas of London including Croydon, Peckham, Lewisham, Ealing, Hackney and Clapham Junction.
The third day of violence came after a peaceful protest in Tottenham on Saturday, which followed the fatal shooting of Mark Duggan last week.