Monday, 23 February 2009

LICENSING FINE FOR RAMSGATE WOMAN

Thanet district Council press release

A Ramsgate woman has been fined £650 and ordered to pay £320 costs, after pleading guilty to selling alcohol and providing unlicensed live music and dancing at a club in the town.

Pauline Terry of London Road, licence holder at Club Compass in Ramsgate High Street, pleaded guilty to five different offences, with the first four relating to December 2008 and the fifth relating to an additional offence on 23 January 2009. Her personal licence to sell alcohol was also forfeited and she agreed to surrender her premises licence. The Magistrates stated that “there were serious aggravating features in this case, with advice given in no uncertain terms, but this carried on.”

The court heard that the premises were originally licensed by the Magistrates’ Court and that licence had a condition attached to it, that alcohol would not be sold, supplied or consumed on the premises and that functions would not be held, unless the police were given 48 hours notice in writing.

When licences were transferred to the council in 2005, an application was submitted for the existing licence to be converted into a premises licence, with the same licence and conditions applied for.

After receiving complaints from members of the public in November 2008 about live music being played at the premises, a letter was sent to Ms. Terry, advising her that her licence did not include live music and of the possible penalties and about how to make an application.

Further complaints were received and council and police officers visited the premises in December 2008. They saw people drinking alcohol outside and inside the premises, with a band packing away inside the premises and alcohol being served at the bar. The police confirmed that they had received no advance notification of the function.

As a result, four summonses were sent to Ms. Terry and hand delivered to the premises on 23 January 2009. That night, as a result of a noise complaint, an environmental health officer from the council went to Club Compass and could hear a live band playing in the premises. This led to the issuing of the fifth summons.

Cllr. Roger Latchford, Cabinet Member for Culture and Economy, said: “This case sends out a strong warning to people that they cannot flout the law and continue to do so. The comments from the magistrates clearly show that the fact that summonses had already been served, but the problems carried on, were unacceptable. I think that’s something the council would fully endorse. We don’t expect to issue summonses and for people to ignore them.”

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