Publican fined after customer is caught smoking in the bar

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A PUB licensee has been prosecuted for allowing a customer to smoke on her premises.

In one of the first prosecutions of its kind in the region Sylvia Maureen Weaver, of The Prince of Wales pub in Leeswood, was fined £300 with £315 costs.

Weaver, of Castle Street, Caergwrle, admitted a charge brought by Flintshire County Council under the 2006 Health Act of failing to stop a customer smoking.

Tim Dillon, prosecuting at Flintshire Magistrates Court at Mold, said last September the local authority received a complaint that the pub was allowing customers to smoke inside the property.

A police officer had witnessed smoking in the pub while walking past the bar area.

On Friday night, September 10, two licensing officers visited the pub and saw a man smoking by the bar and a woman rolling a cigarette next to him, who turned out to be Weaver.

When asked why she was allowing smoking by the bar, she said she was sorry.

She said she allowed the customer to smoke inside because he had heart trouble and could not walk outside. He had to have a medical spray with him by the bar.

There was a full ashtray behind the bar and the customer was issued with a fixed penalty notice which was paid.

Weaver, the designated premises supervisor at the time but now the licensee, was visited again in February and investigators could smell cigarette smoke although they could not see anyone smoking in the bar at the time.

There was a full ashtray on a seat next to a man who turned out to be Weaver’s husband. She denied they had been smoking and said her husband had brought the ashtray from the kitchen.

She admitted smoking in the kitchen and was told that was not allowed because the kitchen opened onto a public area.

In court, Weaver’s husband spoke on her behalf and said it was an isolated incident.

They did have a smoking shelter with heaters but the customer who had been smoking was in very poor health and she felt sorry for him in the bad weather and had allowed him to smoke inside. She did regret that and it had not happened since.

Weaver said she had a cigarette downstairs because there were only bedrooms upstairs and she had not realised it was against the law.

Magistrates described it as a deliberate decision to allow smoking in smoke-free premises.

See full story in the Leader

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