A pub landlord who “worked against” police as they tried to control a potentially volatile demonstration is to lose his licence.
Licensing chiefs said they would revoke the licence of Simon Kirkpatrick, landlord of the Stags Head in Deane, after he was found guilty yesterday of serving outside his licensing hours and knowingly breaching the conditions of his licensing agreement.
During the two-day trial, Bolton magistrates heard that Kirkpatrick, aged 39, of Buckley Lane, Farnworth, allowed up to 150 supporters of the English Defence League into the pub and served them alcohol before 11am on March 20. Later, more than 50 police officers had to cordon off the pub and arrange for coaches to transport the EDL protesters into the town so they did not walk through Deane. The court heard the protesters were chanting “racist” songs.
Kirkpatrick said the back door of the pub was open at 9am because the cleaner was sweeping up outside. He said a group came in and demanded to be served alcohol or they would smash up the pub.
Susan Tonks, chairman of the bench, said: “Although it is accepted this was uncomfortable, we do not believe that evasive action could not have been taken. The offence was not committed under duress so we find you guilty of two of the counts.”
Magistrates cleared him of knowingly allowing disorderly conduct to take place. Kirkpatrick was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay £350 costs. After the hearing, he said: “I am disappointed but I accept what has happened, I will just have to live with it.”
Bolton licensing officer Natalie Dolan said: “With a criminal conviction for licensing offences he will be unable to continue as a licensee.”
Insp Phil Spurgeon added: “99 per cent of the licensees in Bolton were hugely co-operative. But Kirkpatrick completely worked against us.