Chorley pub has licence reviewed after police concerns about "serious violent crime"

A pub in Chorley will learn its fate when the town council meets to review its licence tonight (May 13).

Thursday, 13th May 2021, 3:56 pm
Updated Thursday, 13th May 2021, 8:54 pm

The future of the Bretherton Arms in Eaves Lane will be decided by Chorley Council's licencing committee this evening following an application by Lancashire Police.

The force says it has concerns over "serious violent crime" at the pub following a number of worrying incidents in recent months.

In April, it had its licence immediately suspended after a customer lost his eye in a vicious assault, whilst another suffered serious head wounds in an attack on the pub's car park.

There has also been complaints from members of the public about a lack of social distancing and overcrowding in the pub's courtyard.

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Chorley pub to have licence reviewed due to police concerns over 'serious crime'

Licencing officers said the following incidents are grounds for tonight's review, which could potentially lead to the pub having its licence revoked.

What happened at The Bretherton Arms?

Lancashire Police and Chorley Borough Council licensing officers say they were made aware of an 'extremely intoxicated' man being assaulted by the side of the pub upon leaving the premises on Saturday, April 17.

It happened on the first weekend after the pub reopened for outdoor service following lockdown restrictions.

The man was taken to hospital with serious head injuries where he was treated for skull fractures and a bleed on the brain.

Officers say his injuries were likely caused by a single punch causing the man to fall and crack his head on the pavement.

The pub supervisor admitted that door staff had not been hired for the reopening after lockdown restrictions were lifted and none were working at the venue when the attack occurred.

In their report, licencing officers added: "The CCTV available highlighted customers standing around, which also featured an unpleasant scuffle as patrons were ejected."

CCTV also showed the intoxicated victim of the assault "clearly unsteady on his feet", police noted, adding that there is "evidence that he had been drinking heavily all day, having shots with every pint".

As a result, Chorley Borough Council's licensing committee immediately suspended the pub's licence four days after the assault and social distancing breaches. The pub is run by Star Pubs and Bars Limited.

"Members have serious concerns about the management of the premises," committee chairman Matthew Lynch wrote after the suspension.

"There does not appear to be adequate supervision of the outside yard area. From briefly considering the CCTV footage it appears that there was no supervision of the area until the point at which a table of customers were asked to leave.

"Furthermore, members are deeply concerned that the recommendation of a Chorley Licensing Officer that a patron whom he identified as intoxicated and required removal from the premises was ignored by the DPS [Designated Premises Supervisor]. The same patron then became a victim of a serious assault upon leaving the premises."

What action could Chorley Council take against The Bretherton Arms?

The licencing committee says it has a number of options to hand, including:

- Revoke the licence completely

- Suspend the pub licence for a period of up to three months

- Modify the conditions of the licence

- Exclude a licensable activity from the scope of the licence

- Remove the designated premises supervisor from the licence

Jonathan Noad, Chorley Council’s director of planning said: "Chorley Council has received an application for summary review of a premises licence relating to the Bretherton Arms, 252 Eaves Lane, Chorley.

"Such an application can only be made where the premises is associated with serious crime or serious nuisance.

"The application will be determined in accordance with the Licensing Act 2003."

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