February 17, 2011

Drink sold early to EDL marchers, court told

A landlord knowingly allowed alcohol to be sold in his pub to EDL members before a demonstration took place in Bolton, a court was told.

The court heard that Simon Kirkpatrick, who is appealing against a conviction, opened the Stags Head in Deane at 9am on March 20 last year and allowed drinks to be sold. In September last year, Kirkpatrick, aged 39, of Haynes Street, Morris Green, was convicted of displaying alcohol for sale and knowingly allowing the sale of alcohol otherwise in accordance with his licence.

Bolton Crown Court heard yesterday that the pub had been visited two days before the rally and officers reminded Kirkpatrick of his licence conditions, which included not selling alcohol before 11am. He was also advised to hire qualified door staff for the day and was told to serve drinks in plastic containers.

The court heard that on March 20, English Defence League (EDL) supporters were at the pub. Police had to organise buses to take people into the town centre because they were concerned about them walking through Deane — a predominantly Asian area.

Licensing officer Natalie Dolan told the court she arrived at the pub at about 11am. She said: “I could see quite a large number of people outside the pub. It was rowdy and there were police cordoning off areas to prevent them from going to the next-door pub. They were drinking and smoking and some were chanting. I could see Simon Kirkpatrick with what looked like a plastic cigarette and he was with acquaintances, laughing and joking. He was in good spirits.”

She added that she did not see any door staff and there were glasses on the tables.

The appeal continues.

The Bolton News

Thanks to NewsHound for the heads-up

No comments: