Pontefract pub licence revoked after police found ‘vulnerable’ children being served alcohol

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A pub where ‘vulnerable under-age children’ were served alcohol has lost its licence.

A Wakefield Council licensing panel took the decision after hearing how police and child exploitation officers made the discovery at the Barley Mow Hotel, in Pontefract town centre.

The licence holder, Gregorious Andrea Gregoriou, was living in Cyprus at the time of the incident on June 22.

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West Yorkshire Police officers, Wakefield Council licensing enforcement officers and a member of the Wakefield Children Vulnerable to Exploitation Team carried out the visit following reports that under-age children were gaining access to the premises, on Cornmarket.

The Barley Mow Hotel, in Pontefract, has had its licence revoked.The Barley Mow Hotel, in Pontefract, has had its licence revoked.
The Barley Mow Hotel, in Pontefract, has had its licence revoked.

Documents submitted to the council state: “On speaking with the manager police immediately became concerned regarding, not only the lack of knowledge in relation to the Licensing Act, but more importantly, police had concerns that there was clearly no suitable controls in place to promote the licensing objective, especially the protection of children from harm objective.”

Further checks carried out at the premises found “numerous breaches” of licensing regulations, including an “archaic” CCTV system which was not working.

Following the visit the police applied for a review of the premises licence.

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A licensing sub-committee panel took the decision to revoke the licence at a hearing on August 25.

Mr Gregoriou did not attend the hearing as he is still living abroad.

A request made on his behalf for the hearing to be deferred to a late date was refused.

Minutes of the hearing state: “In considering the matter before it, the licensing sub-committee had regard to the licensing objectives, human rights legislation, the interests of natural justice and the right to a fair hearing.

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“The application referred to a failure to promote three of the four licensing objectives – the prevention of crime and disorder, the prevention of public nuisance and the protection of children from harm.”

The panel considered a report by Antony Sadler, the council’s service director for communities.

Paul Dean, the council’s licensing enforcement officer, supported the licence review.

His report said: “Mr Gregoriou is clearly accountable, not only for the requirement to operate fully under the Licensing Act, but also must take full responsibility for the failures identified at the premises he has clear control of.

“These failures demonstrate that Mr Gregoriou has shown little to no regard to promote any of the licensing objectives.”