Landlord served with prohibition notice for ignoring coronavirus closure restrictions

A Penhill pub landlord who was caught flouting the coronavirus regulations has been served with a prohibition notice by Swindon Borough Council.

Published: Sunday, 19th April 2020

Officers from Wiltshire Police were called to the Deers Leap pub in Penhill Drive on Thursday night (16 April) following reports from members of the public that a group of people were inside drinking and listening to music.

After police officers attended the pub, a disorder took place and three officers were assaulted.

Amanda Maciezszonek, 51, of Albany Close, was arrested at the scene and has since been charged with common assault of an emergency worker and two counts of assault by beating of an emergency worker. She has been released on bail and is due to appear at Swindon Magistrates Court on July 1.

The incident was reported to the Council’s Licensing department and on Friday night council officers and the police attended the pub and served a prohibition notice on the pub’s landlord Iain Watson. If he fails to follow the Government’s regulations and cease trading, he may be fined or prosecuted.

Under the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020 the sale of alcohol for consumption on premises has been banned until further notice. Premises may only open for sales of food and drink for consumption off the premises where licensing permission is in place.

Councillor Cathy Martyn, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing and Public Safety, said: “Our priority is to keep people safe and well. The current coronavirus rules have been brought in for one reason only – to protect the public and stop the spread of the virus.

“This was an illegal gathering and a very serious incident. It was not a misunderstanding of the rules but a deliberate contravention. We had no choice but to issue the prohibition notice. We will take similar action against other premises if they are found to be flouting the rules in this way, and that could result in a fine or prosecution.

“We appreciate this is a particularly difficult time for many businesses, including those in the hospitality industry, but these regulations must be adhered to for everyone’s safety. If any landlord or licensee has any queries about whether they can trade, they should contact our Licensing Manager who is always happy to give them advice.”

Duty Supt Dave Minty said: “I am pleased that officers have continued to work closely with partners at Swindon Borough Council to ensure this prohibition notice could be served, however, it is disappointing that these measures are needed to reinforce the importance of adhering to the government guidelines which are in place for the safety of us all.

“It is really important that landlords understand action will be taken against them if they are found to be in breach of the rules.

“I’d like to thank the members of the public who initially reported their concerns to us and I’d urge anyone who believes a premises is open illegally to contact us immediately so that we can investigate and take action. This is irresponsible behaviour which is putting lives at risk.”

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