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Stockton Council defend Covid licence revocation appeal Published Date: 27/03/2022

Stockton Borough Council has successfully defended a decision of its licensing sub-committee to revoke the licence of a premises for contravention of coronavirus regulations.

Local Government Lawyer reported that Porky Pint in Billingham served customers in lockdown last January as part of “Great Reopening” protests.

The appeal by Porky Pint Limited was heard over two days at Teesside Magistrate’s Court.

James Kemp, a barrister at Trinity Chambers who was instructed by Stockton, submitted that the Porky Pint pub premises had wilfully and deliberately opened in contravention of the relevant regulations in force at the time, despite numerous warnings.

It was argued that the opening of the pub, combined with a deliberate failure to handover CCTV footage in breach of a condition of the license, had been a conscious undermining of the licensing objectives in the prevention of crime and disorder and public safety.

District Judge Hood dismissed the company’s appeal. “The Judge in his careful analysis of the evidence had no confidence that the premises may not act in the same manner in the future should such stipulations be reimposed,” Trinity Chambers said.

Paul Henderson, owner of the Porky Pint, told Teesside Live after the ruling that there were “multiple, very strong grounds for appeal, which is exactly what we intend to do”.

He added: “In the longer term and in the bigger picture, with it [the appeal] being towards the High Court, we will hopefully see justice served at that stage and at that level which will give other businesses which have been unfairly treated and had their businesses unfairly restricted a precedent case.”

Mr Henderson said the Porky Pint would remain open while its appeal was being heard.