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Time called on pub

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: August 21, 2013

  • Inspector Robin Hogg said it was right to strip the pub of its operating licence.

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A BODMIN pub has been stripped of its operating licence after the police described it as the centre for handling stolen goods in the town.

The landlady of the Cat and Fiddle has two weeks to appeal against Cornwall Council's decision.

At a hearing in St Austell, the local authority's licensing sub-committee panel agreed with the police that serious breaches had occurred and revoked the licence held by landlady Julie Haines.

Councillors said they were doing so in order to prevent crime and disorder occurring at the Cat and Fiddle.

They were told by police that the pub is the centre for handling stolen goods in Bodmin and drugs had also been sold on the premises.

Police gathered evidence during a covert operation involving undercover officers selling purportedly stolen property within the pub, including a television and bottles of spirits.

In his statement to the licensing panel, Inspector Robin Hogg, who applied for the pub's license to be reviewed, said two officers went to the pub and witnessed nine sales of "stolen property and two sales of class B drugs".

Mr Hogg said the way the pub was run was contravening the crime and disorder objective in a major way.

Nearby residents have also complained about antisocial behaviour at the Cat and Fiddle.

A spokesman for Cornwall Council said: "The sub-committee felt that the conduct of the licenceholder shows disregard for local residents and the police.

"The sub-committee have considered all options but feel the evidence shows the revocation of the premises' licence is reasonable, necessary and proportionate in order to promote the licensing objectives.''

Inspector Hogg, sector inspector for Bodmin and Wadebridge, said the licensing panel had reached the correct decision.

"The councillors upheld our objectives (to prevent crime and disorder) to get the licence revoked, and the reasons were very clear. I am also grateful to Bodmin Town Council for supporting us at the hearing.

"It is now up to the Cat and Fiddle whether they go to the magistrates' court and lodge an appeal, but in the meantime they can continue trading.

"The pub was given 21 days to appeal the decision. If they fail to do so the pub will be prohibited from selling alcohol,'' said Mr Hogg.

The pub was closed in 2011 by the same committee after police complaints. Then, councillors ruled it was right to take away the licence to prevent crime and disorder and to safeguard the public, but the pub reopened a few months later when Mrs Haines became the new landlady.

Cornwall and town councillor Ann Kerridge said: "The town council was very keen to show its support for the police's action, which is why it attended the hearing.

"Given the evidence presented to the licensing panel, councillors had little choice but to revoke the licence.''

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  • jimjams2011  |  August 22 2013, 1:05AM

    If it was the police officers selling the TV, is that not entrapment?