Pub is cleared in ‘coffin’ probe

Crofton Arms (Google Maps)
Crofton Arms (Google Maps)

A pub has been allowed to keep its licence after a bizarre investigation into reports of children being locked up in a ‘coffin-shaped room’ on the premises.

The Crofton Arms was the subject of a licensing committee review this week following reports made to the NSPCC that children had been kept in the venue’s store room.

Police visited the Doncaster Road business in May last year and found two youngsters asleep on a mattress in the 3m x 2m room at back of the store cupboard, described in the report as a being ‘coffin -shaped.’

No further action was taken by the police.

During this week’s hearing, Mohammed Ali, who had been the licensee, said the children’s mother had asked if she could stay the night at the pub with her children because she was not feeling well.

The mother told the hearing that she had been asleep on an air bed just outside the room and the door had been left open.

Mr Ali added that the bar area was under refurbishment and they were not trading, and said reports that the children were locked inside the room were just “malicious”.

Mr Ali said: “The rooms were full and it was the only appropriate place, but it’s unfair to call it a coffin-shaped room. The children were never in harm’s way.”

Bernadette Livesey, city solicitor at Wakefield Council said: “In making their decision, the committee took into account that the licence was not breached, as the premises were not trading at the time when West Yorkshire Police licensing team made an application for the review of the premises licence.”