Coronavirus: Lockdown breach by fake tradesmen costs pub licence

Y BodunigImage copyright

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Police said Derek Coulton attempted to “hoodwink” officers

A pub has had its licence revoked after continuing to serve customers – including some disguised as tradesmen – during the coronavirus lockdown.

Denbighshire council said people were sneaked into Y Bodunig in Dyserth carrying items such as buzz saws and ladders, but no work was carried out.

Police said the pub had tried to “hoodwink” officials.

The pub’s former manager, Derek Coulton, said the people seen in the pub had been there to work.

The council’s licensing committee was told of a string of incidents in which police found people drinking in the bar after lockdown measures were introduced in March.

CCTV footage showed people entering the pub via a back door before hiding from a police community support officer (PCSO), while another incident saw Mr Coulton’s son bring a circular saw into the pub and sprinkle sawdust on the bar.

North Wales Police said no work was carried out and it was used as a cover for people to go in and drink, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

Further allegations were made that a man stood on a ladder while Mr Coulton spoke to officers on 31 March, before continuing to drink at the bar after the police officer had left.

North Wales Police solicitor Gavin Preston told the licensing committee: “Mr Coulton’s actions have put people at risk of virus transmission when government advice could not have been clearer.

“He has been dishonest, obstructive and indeed devious in his attempts to continue licensed activity during the lockdown.

“The behaviour has continued notwithstanding the obvious police and council interest and the risk to the public.”

Denbighshire council’s licensing committee unanimously voted to revoked the licence “in light of the catalogue of incidents at the premises during March and April 2020”.

BBC News