MIKE Tunstall has been propping up the bar with a pint of real ale at his favourite pub for 15 years.

So when he was told by staff at the Hop and Kilderkin in Winton that people had been barred from standing at the bar with a drink, he saw red.

Mr Tunstall, 50, of Charminster Road, Charminster, handcuffed himself to the bar in protest before calmly informing staff that he had no key.

The father-of-two valiantly defied calls of nature during a two-hour ordeal before being freed from the bar by armed response officers using bolt cutters.

He then had to wait a further 10 minutes wincing with pain as the tight handcuffs ground deep red grooves into his wrist before a police officer arrived with a key and got them off.

Mr Tunstall said: “I came in this morning and I was stood at the bar where I normally stand to have a drink and was told I couldn’t stand at the bar.

“So I went home and got a set of handcuffs and handcuffed myself to the bar. I didn’t have a key. They called the police and they cut them off with boltcutters.

“I haven’t had a pint for two hours and I’m in agony at the moment.

“It’s ridiculous that I can’t go into my local pub, stand at the bar and have a drink.

“I love this pub and the people and like to come here, stand at the bar and have a pint like in the old-fashioned days.

“I don’t blame the landlady. It’s the hierarchy. I just wanted to get a point across.”

Claire Ellerby, manager of the Hop and Kilderkin, said: “This pub is at the heart of the community – anyone can come in, bring their family and enjoy a relaxed atmosphere.

“Over the last few weeks it’s become clear that it’s often difficult for customers to get served at the bar. So we’ve politely asked anyone who’s standing at the bar to allow us the freedom to serve customers.

“We welcome Mike back and hope he’ll agree that a pub which provides a great service to its customers is a better place for everyone.”