A BOURNEMOUTH butcher says he's started legal action in a bid to recoup £4,000 from the former landlord of the Old Beams Inn.

The popular New Forest pub closed earlier this month after the manager called it a day, without warning, and returned to France.

After the Echo reported the shock closure, Paul Armstrong, of Armstrong Butchers, Wimborne Road, Winton, Bournemouth, got in touch to allege pub landlord, Sean Kiani, has failed to settle a bill for produce he had supplied.

Mr Armstrong told the Echo: "The missed payments went up to £4,000, then he found another butcher and just hasn't paid up.

"I've had to hire a solicitor to help get a judgement so I can get my money back.

"What riles me is that he asked me to help him out, so I worked Sundays and bank holidays to ensure he got his supplies, and then he treated us like he did."

The butcher says the pub moved to a new supplier in July this year, around six months after the new management team took over the historic inn.

Responding to Mr Armstrong's allegation, Mr Kiani first criticised the butcher's invoicing system.

He added: "Understand in business there may be instances where you have suppliers.

"Those suppliers may go all out to impress you in the beginning. But can they sustain that level of quality, assurance and prompt delivery? The answer is often no."

Mr Kiani went onto say: "I have no want to desire to engage in this type of publicised banter."

The Green King pub, at Ibsley, near Ringwood, had been recently refurbished and has proved a popular venue over the decades.

Exactly what will happen to the inn now remains uncertain.

Our enquiries to brewery Greene King have gone unanswered.

A statement from the pub team posted on Facebook said: "It is with much sadness that we have come to the end of our journey with the Old Beams and we are now closed.

"The pub we understand will now be closed until the brewery decide if it is to be sold or they find another tenant."