Licensees avoid axe in pub review

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THE LANDLADIES of a Scarborough pub were allowed to keep their licence yesterday, despite a police raid discovering underage teenagers on their premises.

Councillors on the licensing sub-committee rejected a police request to revoke a joint licence issued to Amanda Bullas and Linsay Eastwood for the Hole in the Wall in Vernon Road.

However the panel, made up of Cllr Jonathan Dixon, Cllr Lucy Haycock and Cllr Sandra Turner, did impose a number of new conditions and stated that the venue had been inadequately run.

The hearing heard that police, acting on intelligence, carried out a joint raid with Scarborough Council officers on November 12 last year at 10.15pm.

There, they discovered between 50 and 75 people, including six aged 17, six aged 16 and one aged 15.

Due to the high number of people at the venue, back up officers were requested to contain the pub goers.

Sergeant Chris Smalley, who oversaw the visit, said: “It was extremely busy, I was surprised at how many young people were in there. Due to the high volumes of people I called a full team of officers down to secure the three exits.”

While the incident was ongoing landlady Linsay Eastwood, who had a night off, returned to the venue drunk and became abusive, Sergeant Smalley added.

A 17-year-old, who refused to show officers identification, became aggressive during the incident and was charged with fraud, after a driving licence he had in his possession proved to be fake.

The youth later stated he had not been asked by the lone barman to produce the ID before he was served.

PC Julie Johnson, police licensing officer, said: “It became clear that due to the number of people this wasn’t a one-off. Word must have got around.

“I believe those in charge were fully aware of what was going on. It was possibly money orientated.”

PC Johnson also told the hearing of a previous incident on October 22 last year, when two males, aged 16 and 17, assaulted a girl.

They subsequently told police that they had been drinking in the Hole in the Wall prior to the incident, with one saying he had been drinking shots for 50p.

CCTV and a Pubwatch radio were also not working at the pub, as was required in the terms of the licence.

Allan Armbrister, representing the licensees, said the police application to revoke the licence was “disproportionate” and “draconian”.

He pointed out that although underage people had been on the premises, officers had not witnessed them purchase or consume alcohol at the venue.

“There isn’t any evidence of test purchases by Trading Standards,” he added. “No criminal proceedings have been commenced against the licensees. That is because there is no evidence. It is second and third hand hearsay.

“There have been no warnings given. Isn’t that unusual? This is the first time they have got into trouble. If they had been on a final warning I could understand the application to revoke.”

The pub will now have to operate a challenge 25 proof of age policy, the police can request doormen at the venue, CCTV must be improved and open drink containers will not be allowed outside.