Licensee vows to fight pub closure threat

By Emily Pearce

Saturday, December 8, 2012

 

Licensee vows to fight pub closure threat

The Stag Inn, Lake.

ALLEGATIONS of violent behaviour and underage drinking at a pub run by an Isle of Wight Councillor have sparked calls for a licence review.

Police licensing officers said the supervision of customers at The Stag Inn, Lake, falls below the required standard to prevent drunkenness, disorder and public nuisance, and have called for its licence to be suspended while more robust conditions are drawn up.

But licence holder and Isle of Wight councillor Jerry White, whose son, Desmond White, owns the pub, said it was perfectly safe since he had taken steps to train bar staff and stop serving underage customers.

According to the review application submitted by police, there have been several reports of violence during the past 12 months.

Police were called to the pub after a barman was punched in the face three times by a drunk customer, where they found eight men squaring up to each other.

Other reported incidents include a woman being molested and dragged into the pub, and a customer throwing a brick through the window of another business in the town.

On one occasion a drunk customer ejected from the pub threatened to return with a shotgun, and on another a man was arrested for possessing an offensive weapon after he left the pub with three darts and threatened people.

The pub failed an underage drinking test in July but passed tests in September and November.

Cllr White, described as co-operative by police, said things had improved since March, when he became designated premises supervisor.

"I’ve done everything they’ve asked. I’ve trained all the staff and stopped the underage drinking, so I don’t know why they’ve applied for this review.

"There are no problems now. The pub is a safe place," he said. "A lot of the incidents are based on hearsay, not evidence, which could be proved by looking at CCTV, but police have not done that.

"Some of the accusations are very serious, a stain on me personally, and I will fight this."

Reporter: emilyp@iwcpmail.co.uk

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