Pub landlord losses licence fight

A LANDLORD who ignored repeated police warnings about the way he ran his village pub has failed in an attempt to keep his licence.Reginald Hawkins, who ran the Shepherd and Dog pub in Hollesley, was accused of being "arrogant and unco-operative" with police officers and flouting licensing regulations.

A LANDLORD who ignored repeated police warnings about the way he ran his village pub has failed in an attempt to keep his licence.

Reginald Hawkins, who ran the Shepherd and Dog pub in Hollesley, was accused of being "arrogant and unco-operative" with police officers and flouting licensing regulations.

During an appeal yesterday against the refusal of licensing justices to renew his licence, Ipswich Crown Court heard Mr Hawkins had been warned by police in August 2000 about the way he was running the pub.

He was also asked to attend Woodbridge Police Station in June 2002, where he was given a formal caution.

But there were further instances of concern and Mr Hawkins appeared before licensing justices last June.

On that occasion he was required to give assurances that he would not serve anyone who was drunk, would not serve alcohol after 11pm, would make sure customers had left the pub by 11.20pm and would contact police in advance if he was holding a private party.

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However, the licensing justices refused to renew Mr Hawkins' licence in March this year on the grounds he was not a "fit and proper person" to hold a licence to run the pub.

During the appeal, the court heard that despite assurances given by Mr Hawkins in June 2003, a policeman who had gone to the pub at 11.20pm one evening last August had seen 10 people in the bar.

Two were playing pool and the officer could see alcohol in glasses on tables. Mr Hawkins had been behind the bar and the court was told it had been quite apparent that he had not asked his customers to leave.

Several weeks later during another visit to the pub at 11.55pm six people were still on the premises, while 25 people were still in the pub at 11.55pm during another visit in November.

Giving evidence, Mr Hawkins, 46, said he had been in the licensing trade for more than 25 years and had never had any problems with his licence.

He accepted being in breach of the assurances he had given in June 2003 by not closing the pub by 11.20pm.

Mr Hawkins also admitted forgetting to tell the police about a private function at the pub when 25 people were still on the premises just before midnight.

However, he denied being unco-operative and arrogant towards the police and said on one occasion when six people had been at the pub after closing time that they had been members of staff and their boyfriends.

Judge John Holt, sitting with four magistrates, said the bench had decided unanimously to refuse his appeal.

"He has failed to persuade us that in the past he has run the pub in an acceptable manner or to give us any confidence that he will change in the future."

Speaking after the hearing, a spokesman for Punch Taverns, which owns the Shepherd and Dog, said it would remain closed for a short time until a temporary "occasional licence" had been obtained.

He added steps would then be taken to find someone to take over the pub on a permanent basis.

The pub is close to Hollesley Bay open prison and, as revealed in the Evening Star in November, the Prison Service admitted three inmates had been to the Shepherd and Dog.

They were disciplined after it was discovered they had drunk in the pub to celebrate the release of a prisoner the next day.

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