Court rejects landlady's bid to run boozer
A LANDLADY has been prevented from taking over the running of another pub after police raised concerns.
Karen Walton had her application to take over Denry's pub, in St John's Square, Burslem, thrown out by Stoke-on-Trent City Council.
Staffordshire Police told the council's licensing sub-committee how a raid at The Park Inn, also in Burslem, which Miss Walton took over two years ago, uncovered evidence of drug use.
Police objected to her application to take over Denry's on the grounds that it would 'undermine the prevention of crime and disorder'.
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The 35-year-old launched an appeal against the committee's decision, but magistrates in Stafford yesterday rejected the application.
The court heard how nine days after Miss Walton, of Humbert Road, Etruria, took over The Park Inn, in August 20, 2011, a drug raid found varying quantities of cocaine, and swabs revealed a trace of heroin at the premises.
The following day officers were called after complaints from neighbours at 1.30am, claiming there were 25 customers in the pub.
Miss Walton later admitted she had sold alcohol after permitted hours.
A further raid in November resulted in three people being arrested for possession of cocaine and methadone. Miss Walton stepped down from her role as landlady at the Park Road venue in December 2011.
The ruling means Miss Walton cannot take over Denry's, which was formerly run by her partner, Maurice Pass and his sister Sarah Campbell.
The venue is now being operated under new management.
PC Graeme Owen, from Staffordshire Police's licensing department, said: "This is an excellent example of partnership working between Staffordshire Police and our colleagues at the city council.
"We are committed to ensuring the safety and enjoyment of people who take advantage of nightlife in our city. But to do that we need to ensure that licensed premises are run well and crime committed in and around those venues is of a minimum.
The decision made by magistrates echoes and supports that previously made by the sub-committee."
Councillor Janine Bridges, cabinet member for housing, neighbourhoods and community safety, said: "We are pleased that the court upheld the decision made by the sub-committee.
"The safety and enjoyment of people visiting our city at night is our chief concern.
"We work closely with Staffordshire Police and are happy to support them when there is clear evidence provided to show the detrimental impact of granting a licence."