Cocaine, underage sales and thrown bottles – time called on rowdy pub

JT Finn/Welcome Inn, Seaside Lane, Easington Colliery.

JT Finn/Welcome Inn, Seaside Lane, Easington Colliery.

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A BAR’S booze licence has been revoked after community leaders heard a dossier of evidence detailing drunken behaviour, sales to schoolgirls and signs that drinkers had taken cocaine.

JT Finn’s licence was called in after police put together a file detailing three occasions when alcopops had been sold to 15-year-olds during test purchase checks and plastic bags which had held cocaine were found in the gents toilets of the pub in Seaside Lane, Easington Colliery.

Police also said they found customers to be drunk and rowdy during visits to the Irish-themed venue.

There were detailed complaints that drinkers were urinating in the back lane, had been seen vomiting in the street and had thrown bottles towards the care home opposite.

The officers said a review was needed to protect children from harm.

At a meeting of Durham County Council’s sub-licensing meeting, members of the committee decided to revoke the licence. The business will be allowed to stay open during the 21-day period when it can appeal against the decision to a magistrates’ court, where a bench can be asked to determine if the council was right in the way it made its decision.

If it does appeal, the bar can continue to serve alcohol until the appeal is heard.

Following the meeting Durham Constabulary licensing officer Sergeant Tim Robson said: “From a police point of view, we have an expectation a licensee will meet objectives, and unfortunately has not happened here.

“A child volunteer, working with a police officer, was able to purchase alcohol, which is a serious offence.”

The parish council and ward member David Boyes were among those to call for action to be taken over the bar.

Richard Parker, the designated premises supervisor at the bar, had told the committee a series of improvements had been put in place, including joining the Pub Watch scheme, increasing staff training, a refusals record and work alongside the authorities to halt further sales to the underage.

No one at the bar was available for comment yesterday.