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Bodmin pub Cat and Fiddle faces closure for a second time

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: August 03, 2013

CLOSE CALLS The Cat and Fiddle, which could be closed.

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A BODMIN pub could be closed down for the second time in two years.

Police have asked Cornwall Council to review the license of the Cat and Fiddle at St Leonards, following a high-profile raid in June.

Around 80 officers from Cornwall and Devon were involved in Operation Minnis, which was centred on Bodmin but also targeted addresses in St Austell, Par, St Columb and St Ives.

A number of people from Bodmin were arrested and have been charged with a series of offences.

Devon and Cornwall police's licensing officer John Olver said the police were taking action against the Cat and Fiddle, one of the addresses raided.

"We have applied for a review of the premises's licence on the grounds that we believe criminal ffences have been taking place involving stolen property and drugs.

"We are currently preparing evidence to be put before the licensing committee for a hearing on August 14," he said.

The Cat and Fiddle was stripped of its operating licence in June 2011 after a raid in February of that year, when police shut it down with a closure notice.

Cornwall Council's licensing panel found the pub's managers had committed a catalogue of offences that breached its conditions for opening.

At a review hearing in St Austell, councillors ruled it was right to take away the licence to prevent crime and disorder and to safeguard the public. They noted the failure of the licence holder at the time to engage with the police, environmental health and health and safety officers in the safe running of the pub.

The committee also found the Cat and Fiddle had an illegal gaming machine on the premises, which it said was a very serious breach.

In its judgement, the licensing committee said: "The sub-committee felt that the conduct of the licence holder, who is also the designated premises supervisor, shows disregard for local residents, the police, environmental health officers and health and safety officers as well as a clear disregard for the premises's licence and the provisions of the Licensing Act 2003.

"The sub-committee considered all options available but felt the evidence showed that the revocation of the premises's licence is reasonable, necessary and proportionate.''

But the Cat and Fiddle was allowed to reopen a few months later under a new landlady, providing stringent conditions were met.

This paper had not been able to make contact with the pub's management by the time it went to press.

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