Barrister stresses importance of PACE and good practice after successfully defending pub landlord charged with Covid -19 rules breach

A barrister who successfully defended a pub landlord accused of failing to close his pub during tier 4 lockdown in February 2021 has claimed the case should serve “as a reminder that even in extraordinary circumstances, the rules of PACE and good practice ought not to be forgotten”.

Tom Worsfold of Lincoln House Chambers, instructed by Anita Atkinson of Southerns Solicitors, appeared for the defendant, DW.

The set said police officers had attended the pub and found four people inside, all allegedly drunk, as well as the defendant and his wife. The officers issued a fixed penalty notice in the sum of £1,000 later that day.

DW argued the pub was closed for business and all individuals were tradespeople working on renovations.

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Lincoln House said that, at trial, it was submitted on DW’s behalf that the officers had failed to caution any of the individuals present, failed to take any notes at the scene, failed to carry their body-worn videos and then failed to deal with witness statements until months after the event.

Having taken the details of all present, the officers also declined to issue “COVID questionnaires”, as appeared to be the practice in London.

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