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. ”OK, a fair amount of hyperbole there, and a definite showing of the race card, but it’s interesting how the police change their tactics when…
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.”Well, well, well…
If they really, genuinely believed him to be a terrorist would they have backed down once they were being recorded? I think not!
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.”Heh! I wonder who got the short straw in the police PR department with this story?