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Gainsborough hotel surrenders alcohol licence

The White Hart Hotel, Gainsborough
The White Hart Hotel, Gainsborough

The White Hart Hotel, Gainsborough has surrendered their premises licence two days before a Licence Review Hearing was due to take place.

Premises licence holder Sharon Hopkinson surrendered the licence on Tuesday, September, 18, which means the hotel can no longer sell alcohol of any kind.

On Thursday, September, 20 a review hearing was due to take place, having been called following police concerns relating to the large amount of disorder at and linked to the venue. As the licence was surrendered prior to the hearing, the Licensing Sub-Committee took the decision to adjourn the hearing until October 17; this covers the period where any interested party could seek to transfer the licence to their control.

Sergeant Kim Enderby from the Alcohol Licensing Team said, "I am disappointed by the decision of the committee to adjourn the review hearing, as in all likelihood the huge amount of evidence against this premises that we have obtained will probably never be made public. I am equally disappointed that the premises licence holder Sharon Hopkinson, chose to surrender this licence rather than subject herself to the scrutiny of a licensing review.

"The amount of violent incidents associated with the White Hart Hotel in Gainsborough is totally out of proportion with a venue of this size. In nearly 27 years of policing I have never encountered such a badly run licensed premises.

"Over the past year there have been a number of serious assaults linked to the hotel, multiple breaches of the conditions of the premises licence, and CCTV of the licence holder and other customers smoking in the bar area in breach of anti-smoking legislation introduced in 2007.

"We also visited the Hotel in March 2018 with the drugs itemiser. This is a machine used to test surfaces for traces of drugs. The readings indicated that drugs were regularly being used in the venue. We also have CCTV footage of a male being knocked unconscious in the function room of the hotel. This assault was witnessed by the owner, yet no call was made to either police or the ambulance service. In all we had compiled over two hours of CCTV footage, covering a number of months which graphically demonstrated the problems associated with this venue.

"We have always attempted to work with the owner, attempting to resolve the issues identified but no real change took place in how this venue was operated, leaving us no other option than to call for a licence review. Whilst we are disappointed we were not able to present any of our evidence, the fact that this venue is now unlicensed and can no longer sell alcohol – can only be a positive step. Emergency service resources that have for too long be tied up dealing with incidents at the White Hart Hotel will now be free of this burden".