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Pub hit with prohibition order “after drinkers found in cellar”

A pub landlord who breached coronavirus regulations a reported eight times since the end of March has been served a prohibition notice by North West Leicestershire District Council.

The council said the landlord of The Boot Inn in Gladstone Street, Ibstock, was also issued with a fixed penalty notice by officers from Leicestershire Police after three drinkers were found hiding in the cellar on one visit. Fines were handed out to each of the drinkers.

Concerns raised by members of the public and local intelligence collected by police officers combined to show regular activity at the premises in recent weeks, the council said. "Police officers made numerous visits to the property issuing warnings on several occasions after finding evidence of regulation breaches."

The council served the prohibition order under Regulation 8 (2) of the coronavirus regulations introduced by Government in light of the pandemic.

A breach of the prohibition order would be a criminal offence. The council could choose to issue further fixed penalty fines and consider prosecution and/or review the pub’s licence.

Describing it as an isolated case, Cllr Andrew Woodman, Portfolio Holder for Community Services at North West Leicestershire, said: “We hoped not to need to use a coronavirus prohibition notice but this landlord was demonstrating a continued disregard for the health and wellbeing of residents, and indeed of our NHS.

“This issue has been dealt with firmly and fairly in light of the sheer number of breaches and it sends out a strong message to others that it won’t be tolerated.”

Sergeant Ryan Ludlam, NPA Deputy Commander for North West Leicestershire, said: “While we continue to encourage, explain and educate in relation to following the Government guidelines, if required we will also carry out enforcement action. Unfortunately this was a case which did require enforcement.

“Officers carried out a number of visits to the Boot Inn following concerns being raised which led to fixed penalty notices being issued. However, when guidelines were still not followed, this led to us then approaching the council and the prohibition order being issued.”