This blog has been following the adventures of Dave Henderson for well over a year. The failed property developer and Christchurch City Council beneficiary has provided a lot of 'copy', but this next story is venturing close to the surreal.

Last Saturday night the owner of Smith Crane and Construction, Tim Smith, who employs about 150 people, was arrested at one of Henderson's South of Lichfield (Sol) establishments, the Yellow Cross bar.

Henderson followers will know that Henderson's companies owe close to $1 million to Smith Crane.

The company began receivership proceedings against Henderson but withdrew them after an agreement was made with Henderson to pay off the debt over time.

Part of that deal was Henderson agreeing to Smith Crane having its Christmas Party at the Yellow Cross bar and Henderson would pick up the tab.

There's usually a twist in the tale when it comes to Hendo, and the 'twist' this time was the police turning up at 11.30pm, despite the fact that everyone at the Christmas party had been well-behaved throughout.

This is what one patron wrote about events:

I happened to be downstairs in the Yellow Cross as this happened. First 10 police went up, then another 10. Another 10 or so remained outside. After a while, patrons started leaving. Bouncers made a big deal of getting us out of the way, and forming a line (3 long) to try to protect us from the dangerous people upstairs.

We were briefly locked in as a few blokes had a go at each other outside. I'm not sure if they were from upstairs or not. As we left, we saw someone arguing with the police about his ruined Christmas party.

Tim Smith, not exactly in a 'party' mood anymore, then took his partner and a few friends to another Sol establishment, the Fish and Chip Shop.

Smith tried to buy a round of drinks using one of ten Sol Square vouchers (worth $400 each) which Hendo had given him as another offset against the million dollar debt.

But things got even worse for the unfortunate Tim Smith and friends - one of Henderson's bouncers, for no apparent reason, asked him to move away from the bar.

Smith, already naturally upset with having his Christmas party ruined, had a heated argument with the bouncer concerned.

The bouncer's response? He called for the assistance of some of his fellow bouncers and they wrestled Tim Smith to the ground.

And, to add insult to injury, Smith was charged with disorderly behaviour and spent the night in the police cells!

I bet Tim Smith is wishing that he never made a deal with Henderson.

So who had the called the police when the Smith Crane Christmas party had been entirely peaceful?

The police say they received a call from Yellow Cross management claiming that the Christmas party was 'getting out of hand' and they were concerned by the 'aggressive behaviour' of patrons towards the poor and defenceless bouncers! (one former Sol bouncer was recently convicted of breaking a patron's nose).

Yellow Management had decided to close the bar and wanted the police's assistance.

In reality Yellow Cross management, appearing to act under instructions, were looking for an excuse to close down the Christmas party and they invented the fiction of patrons getting 'aggressive' toward 'security staff' to justify the closure.

Not surprisingly Henderson has denied that the Yellow Cross management phoned the police. This begs the question - why would the police lie about it?

Henderson also denied that he had anything to do with phoning the Press newspaper and pulling a receivership notice placed by Smith Crane and Construction. The Press later traced the phone call to Henderson's Sol offices.

The reader will also not be surprised to learn that the Yellow Cross Brewing Company had an interim liquidator appointed to it on December 1, on an application by the Inland Revenue. The taxman is seeking to liquidate the company over unpaid PAYE tax.


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