A fish and chip restaurant owner has accused police of violently arresting him when he was innocent of any crime.

Demetrios Photiou, 38, claims he was hit repeatedly with batons and a police dog bit him on the leg.

He alleges officers pulled and pushed him and twisted his arm painfully behind his back.

Mr Photiou, who runs the Trident fish and chip restaurant in Albert Parade, Eastbourne, told a court he was still suffering from injuries caused during his arrest six years ago.

He said he still had problems with his teeth, shoulders, knee and wrists from the baton strikes.

Mr Photiou, who has no criminal convictions, is claiming compensation from Sussex Police for unlawful arrest, false imprisonment and assault when excessive force was used to restrain him.

He also wants compensation for loss of earnings, saying his business suffered when he was recovering from the alleged beating.

The police have denied his allegations and say he was lawfully arrested using reasonable and necessary force.

Mr Photiou told Brighton County Court his ordeal began in the early hours of July 5, 1998, as he relaxed after work with friends at the Clay Oven kebab restaurant in Seaside, Eastbourne.

Mr Photiou alleged he was confronted by a man who had slashed him with a knife two years earlier but was never charged with the offence.

He needed 23 stitches to wounds on his head and neck and claimed that afterwards he received threats from friends of the attacker.

He said on the day in question his alleged attacker came into the restaurant with a group of rowdy friends and tried to get him outside. In the melee he was punched in the head and he hit back.

When the police arrived, he believed he was the victim but a woman among the other group accused him of assaulting her.

The woman later withdrew her allegation but the police pursued a prosecution against him.

The case collapsed on the first day of Mr Photiou's trial at Lewes Crown Court in February 1999.

He was acquitted of charges of affray and assault.

He said when police approached him on July 5, officers failed to explain they wanted to speak to him because he had been accused of assaulting the woman.

When asked to give his name and address he refused because he did not want to reveal personal details in front of people who had just attacked him.

He was asked to go outside by the police but again refused because his attackers were outside threatening to kill him.

He claims he was then brutally restrained by police and arrested.

He believes his arrest was unlawful because officers failed to tell him why he was being detained.

Neville Spencer-Lewis, representing Mr Photiou, said: "He was given a good beating for resisting arrest. He was dealt with roughly and violently.

"Many years later he has brought a long and costly case to air his grievance and obtain justice - nothing to do with money.

"He did not have a bad disposition towards the police. He was not a troublemaker. He is a man prepared to stand up for his rights, perhaps argumentative but not out of control."

Sarah Paneth, representing Sussex Police, said Mr Photiou had been lawfully arrested on suspicion of assault and had resisted arrest.

She said there was no dispute a struggle took place but Mr Photiou's allegations of injuries did not match evidence given by police officers and other witnesses.

The jury retired yesterday to consider its verdict after an 11-day hearing.