Abingdon pub owner arrested for selling alcohol without a license

A PUB owner has been prosecuted for making the ‘stupid mistake’ of selling alcohol in his pub after his license expired.

Thomas O’Sullivan, 63, of Eaton near Abingdon, appeared at Oxford Magistrates’ Court on Friday February 25 and pleaded guilty to two charges of breaching licensing law at The Eight Bells at Eaton in July last year.

The court heard the owner was told in June 2021 that the license for The Eight Bells’ premises had become invalid after the company, The Eight Bells Ltd, which held the licence, went out of business.

O’Sullivan had been advised that, as there was no license for the premises, anyone authorizing or carrying on what would have been licensed activities, including the sale of alcohol, would be committing an offense under the licensing law.

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Magistrates heard that on July 10, 2021, police witnessed alcohol being sold at the pub despite the warning about the lack of a license the previous month.

The pub owner has received another warning to stop selling alcohol.

Again on July 17 at lunchtime it was discovered that he was still running the pub and selling alcohol and despite another warning he was again caught serving alcohol. alcohol the same night.

By way of mitigation, it was said that O’Sullivan had held a premises license for 11 years without incident and while he is exceptionally sorry for this “stupid mistake”, the error occurred because he had asked another licensee to help him apply for a new license for the premises and he thought it had been done, but then realized that was not the case.

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In sentencing, the magistrates considered Mr O’Sullivan’s early guilty plea.

They imposed a fine of £300 for each of the two offences, £975 for prosecution costs and a victim fine surcharge of £60, which amounted to a total of £1,635 to be paid within 28 days.

Councilor Helen Pighills, Cabinet Member for Healthy Communities responsible for licensing, said: “Licensing laws are there for a reason, which is to ensure public safety by ensuring that pub and restaurant owners and others involved in the sale of alcohol are regulated and responsible. . As the licensing authority, the council is committed to enforcing these laws throughout the district and will prosecute those who violate them.

Following the lawsuit, the premises license for The Eight Bells is currently in the name of Sheehan Haulage and Plant Limited, who are the owners of the premises.

O’Sullivan now has a role in running the pub, but Owaine Jones is the appointed premises supervisor who takes responsibility for running the business.

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