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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 November 2007, 12:12 GMT
'Smoking' landlord loses licence
Hamish Howitt
Mr Howitt was fined 500 last month
A pub landlord fined for flouting the smoking ban has now been banned from selling alcohol in one of his bars.

Hugh Howitt, known as Hamish, 55, became the first landlord in England to be prosecuted for allowing people to smoke in his Blackpool bar last month.

Mr Howitt was fined 500 for offences at Delboy's Sports Bar but vowed to continue letting smokers light up.

After a trading standards inquiry involving other licence breaches, alcohol cannot be served at Delboy's.

Mr Howitt had the licence revoked for Delboy's, which is above his other bar, The Happy Scots, by the licensing committee at Blackpool Borough Council.

Underage drinkers

The Happy Scots is not affected by the committee's decision.

The committee ruled that Mr Howitt, of Park Road, Blackpool, had failed to maintain health and safety records and failed two test purchases by under-age drinkers.

Happy Scots Bar and Delboy's Sports Bar
The decision was taken by Blackpool Council

A spokeswoman for Blackpool Council said: "The panel today revoked the premises' licence after it was determined that three of the four licensing objectives had not been upheld - prevention of crime and disorder, protection of children from harm and protection of public safety.

"It was noted during the review that the premises had breaches of health and safety law and licence conditions, including the lack of a doorman and lack of membership to Pubwatch.

"A proven underage sale was also brought to the attention of the panel.

"Some weight was given to the failure to comply with the Health Act 2006, insofar it was a breach of the licensing objective to prevent crime and disorder.

"Mr Howitt has 21 days to lodge an appeal with the magistrates' court and, if there is an appeal, the panel's decision will not come into effect unless the appeal is dismissed by the court."

Mr Howitt, who has set up a political party named Fight Against Government Suppression (Fags), has said he plans to appeal against the licensing committee's decision.

'Total fabrication'

"All it is is a total fabrication - it is because they can't close me for letting people smoke in my pub," he said.

"There is nothing wrong with my pub, it is one of the safest pubs I've ever been in.

"I allow customers choice - all my non-smoking staff work in the karaoke bar downstairs, and the smoking ones work in the smoking bar.

"I'm going to appeal and I'm confident that the judiciary will overturn the appeal."

The smoking ban, which was introduced on 1 July, forbids smokers from lighting up in enclosed public places.

Bar owners and landlords are obliged to enforce the ban and can face fines of up to 2,500 if they fail to do so.



SEE ALSO
Landlord fined over smoking ban
05 Nov 07 |  Lancashire
Landlord denies smoke ban charge
01 Aug 07 |  Lancashire
First smoking prosecution issued
20 Jul 07 |  Lancashire
'First' smoking prosecution bid
11 Jul 07 |  Lancashire

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