Landlord fined for operating outside of hours

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A Needham Market pub landlord has been fined £1000 and made to pay more than £1100 in court costs after being caught trading outside of licenced hours.

Ashley Sagnella, 23, of Hawks Mill Street, Needham Market pleaded guilty today at Bury St Edmunds Magistrates’ Court to allowing the sale of alcohol at The Three Tuns public house in Needham Market at 12.38am on August 12 last year.

Its licence runs until midnight.

Prosecuting on behalf of Mid Suffolk District Council, Jonathan Reed said police officers were called to the premises after receiving complaint by a member of the public.

When they got there officers found alcohol was still being served and music being played loud from a jukebox.

A print out from the till showed 14 sales of alcohol occurred after midnight.

Mr Reed said: “I have a witness statement from Miss Fallon Taentzer who was working at the pub at the time of the incident.

“She said alcohol was being served.”

When interviewed about the incident, Sagnella initially denied the sale of alcohol after midnight, claiming the till records referred to the settling of tabs.

In mitigation, Philippa Dyer said Sagnella did not know alcohol was being served at teh time but admitted not supervising the evening well enough.

Sagnella was fined £1000, made to pay £1160.60 towards the cost of the investigation and prosecution with a £15 victim surcharge.

Following the court case Joanna Hart, Senior Environmental Protection Officer at Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Council said: “It is unfortunate that we have had to take the decision to prosecute Mr Sagnella, but by failing to admit to the offence during his interview, he left us with no option.

“By disregarding the conditions of the licence, Mr Sagnella has shown that he does not take the management of the premises or the amenity of his neighbours seriously and so I hope that this result will encourage him to think twice and to ensure that he operates within the terms of his licence in future.

“It will also serve as a warning to other licensed premises tempted to operate outside of their authorised hours not to break the law.”