December 10 2013 Latest news:
Friday, September 27, 2013
Police and council officers have praised a decision that led to a nightclub being forced to close for a week for breaching licensing laws.
Last November, in a joint sting by police, Babergh District Council and trading standards, Easterns Station Lounge in Sudbury was found to have sold alcohol to four children aged between 15 and 17.
The district council’s licensing sub-committee subsequently voted to suspend the nightclub’s licence for two months in December, but the business’ owner, David Pratt, appealed against the committee’s decision.
This week after a two-day hearing at Bury Magistrates’ Court, district judge Celia Dawson dismissed Mr Pratt’s appeal and upheld the committee’s original decision.
But due to the 10 months that have elapsed since the committee’s review, and the improvements the club has made during that time, Judge Dawson substituted the original eight week suspension for a seven-day ban, and she added two further licence conditions.
Last night police Superintendent Terry Byford said she was pleased with the outcome.
She said: “The judge agreed with the original findings made by the licensing authority and also stated that in the interim period improvements had been made, but she was of the view that a seven day suspension would be proportionate and appropriate.
“This would promote the licensing objectives so far as they relate to the prevention of the sale of alcohol to children, promote good public order and behaviour, and prevent crime. As a further measure, two new conditions have been added to the premises license of operating a Challenge 25 proof-of-age scheme and staff training.
“We will continue to work pro-actively with partner agencies, including licensees, to promote the licensing objectives and prevent the sale of alcohol to under-age children.”
A spokesman for the district council said: “Babergh District Council is satisfied that the district judge agreed with the licensing sub-committee’s findings and concluded they were not wrong, and that a particularly serious view should be taken regarding the sale of alcohol to, and consumption of alcohol by, minors.”
In yesterday’s EADT, we incorrectly stated that Mr Pratt had won his appeal. We are happy to correct this error.