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Landlord risks losing pub

PUBLISHED: 21:00 17 April 2004 | UPDATED: 04:47 02 March 2010

A LANDLORD is today battling to save his business after a court heard he had been serving escaped prisoners from Hollesley Bay.

Reg Hawkins, landlord of the Shepherd and Dog in Hollesley, lost his license after magistrates found him guilty of a number of offences of serving alcohol after hours.

A LANDLORD is today battling to save his business after a court heard he had been serving escaped prisoners from Hollesley Bay.

Reg Hawkins, landlord of the Shepherd and Dog in Hollesley, lost his license after magistrates found him guilty of a number of offences of serving alcohol after hours.

The court also heard evidence to suggest he had served Hollesley inmates on the run, but they said this was not a deciding factor in their final decision.

Now Mr Hawkins, who is appealing against the decision, admits he may have unwittingly served prisoners.

Mr Hawkins said: "How am I meant to know the difference between an inmate and a normal customer?

"If I knew who they were I wouldn't have them in here but I can't go up to all my customers and ask them individually.

"The police and prison should be doing more to make sure they don't get out at all."

An application was made by police not to renew Mr Hawkins' license when it expired in March and, at a hearing in Ipswich magistrates upheld this application.

PC Caroline Millar, licensing officer for the Woodbridge Sector, said: "The application not to renew Mr Hawkins license was made for a number of offences of breeching the Licensing Act.

"There was intelligence given in court to suggest he had been serving Hollesley Bay prisoners - but magistrates rejected this and their decision not to renew his license was not based on that."

Mr Hawkins is now waiting for a date for his appeal to be heard at Ipswich Crown Court. He will be allowed to continue serving until then.

He said: "I wasn't serving anyone after hours. There may have been people in here after 11 but I certainly wasn't serving them.

"I'm really worried about the possibility of losing my licence. It's my livelihood at stake and I don't know what I'll do if it gets taken away."

Background info

On October 27 last year The Evening Star reported the news that three inmates had nipped out to the pub in the evening before returning to the jail with alcohol they had bought as a carry out from the pub.

And on March 6 two inmates called a taxi to the Shepherd and Dog, asked it to drive to Woodbridge, and then stole the car when it stopped at a garage.

N Is it right for Mr Hawkins to lose his licence? Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or visit the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk


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