Pub stripped of licence after lockdown booze ups launches appeal

A pub stripped of its licence after opening during the winter coronavirus lockdown has mounted an appeal.

Wednesday, 1st September 2021, 10:52 am
The Porky Pint, in Billingham.

Landlord Paul Henderson accepted he had broken the law but insisted he had done so in protest at Covid regulations and the “devastation” he believed they had caused.

An appeal to overturn the decision was due to be heard at Teesside Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday on the grounds that it was “unnecessary and disproportionate”.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The Porky Pint, in Mill Lane, Billingham, opened illegally during the January lockdown.

Yet the case was adjourned until September 28.

The Porky Pint had informed the authorities of its intention to open ahead of January 30 as part of a campaign labelled The Great Reopening.

A subsequent visit by police and council teams found customers drinking inside.

Mr Henderson was handed a £1,000 fixed penalty notice for the breach before licensing proceedings were launched by the council.

Arguments were heard at a licensing hearing hosted by Stockton Baptist Tabernacle in July.

Mr Henderson said in a statement: “I made a political statement and sought to draw public attention to the devastation these laws have caused not just to small independent businesses, and particularly the hospitality sector, but to society at large.”

However, barrister James Kemp, for Cleveland Police and the council teams, said: “The law is there, whatever you may think, for a reason.

“It is there to control society and in this case, in a pandemic, the control understandably had to be tightened.

“Why? Because you may die. It’s as simple as that.”