A ST CLEARS pub landlord caught serving alcohol twice in one day during lockdown has been warned by Carmarthenshire County Council’s licensing committee and put under a raft of strict conditions.
Richard Pearce, of The Santa Clara, ignored Covid-19 safety regulations and invited people to the bar nine days after the country went into lockdown, the licensing committee heard.
He was caught red-handed after police received a tip-off and visited the premises, only to find eight people drinking pints of beer on the premises.
As the designated premises supervisor, Mr Pearce was brought before the committee to explain his actions.
The committee also heard from Dyfed-Powys Police and Carmarthenshire County Council licensing officers and premises licence holder Alan Reynolds.
Members were told that when police attended the pub on Sunday, March 29, the front entrance was closed and so were the curtains.
After going around the back and up the stairs they found four people, along with Richard Pearce, inside drinking alcohol.
Mr Pearce said he’d sent text messages to friends inviting them to go there for a drink as a way of thanking them for carrying out painting work for him.
The drinkers were ordered to leave and Mr Pearce was given a warning not to breach Covid-19 safety guidelines again.
But just one hour later, police returned to the premises and found eight people drinking and laughing in the bar.
Mr Pearce again apologised and at that point was issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice.
The committee was told that the premises licence holder was Mr and Mrs Alan Reynolds and that Mr Pearce was named on the licence as he was in charge of the day to day running of the pub.
After hearing the evidence and taking legal advice, the committee stopped short of stripping the landlord and the premises of its licence.
Instead they imposed a range of strict conditions, including a demand for CCTV cameras to be installed on both entrance and exit, and making Mr Pearce attend a personal licence course.
The pub has since re-opened following the easing of lockdown restrictions and there has been no further complaints.
The licensee claimed this was the first complaint the pub had received in 52 years of family ownership.
The council’s Executive Board Member for Public Protection, Cllr Philip Hughes, said: “Not only did Mr Pearce breach the coronavirus regulations and put the lives of the public at risk, he blatantly ignored the police officers’ warning to close his premises immediately. The whole country was in lockdown and there is no excuse for what he did. Landlords and premise licence holders have certain responsibilities, and I hope this serves as a warning.”
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