Judge slams club for selling too much booze

A BOSTON nightclub has been slammed for putting young people onto the streets having drunk excessive amounts of alcohol – but it’s management has hit back claiming this is not the case.

District Judge Richard Blake has called for a review into the licence at the After Dark nightclub following a court case at Boston Magistrates’ Court last Wednesday.

He was speaking after hearing a case in which four young people were accused of assaulting a stranger having drunk in the Craythorne Lane club.

Judge Blake said: “I am very concerned to hear of the quantities of alcohol being served in the After Dark nightclub. It raises serious questions whether the licensees of that club are behaving in a proper manner.

“It’s an offence for a licensee to serve alcohol to a drunk

“Quite simply, to put young people out onto the streets in the early hours of the morning having drunk this amount is almost inviting serious public disorder.”

He added that other premises may also be guilty of serving too much alcohol.

During the case in which his comments were made the court was told that one of the defendants drank 12 pints of bitter throughout the course of the evening.

Others had a cocktail of different drinks, including spirits, lager and alcopops. Most could not remember exactly what they had drunk in the club as they claimed they were very drunk, according to prosecution solicitor Debra Cartwright.

After Dark general manager Steve Abel refuted claims made by the judge.

He told The Standard: “If somebody looks as if they have had too much to drink they are asked to leave the premises. We don’t allow people into the premises drunk and we don’t allow them to walk around it like that. That’s what we have security for.

“All our staff know their licensing bits.”

He said that nobody had contacted him about the judge’s comments.

In order for a licence to be reviewed it must be called into question by the police.

Fiona White, principal licensing officer at Boston Borough Council, said: “The borough council cannot choose to revoke a licence. In circumstances such as this the police would apply to the licensing sub-committee to review a licence, and, depending on the evidence put forward, that licence could then be revoked.”

Serving somebody who is drunk can lead to a £1,000 charge under the Licensing Act.

A police spokesman said: “We review each premises operation in view of the intelligence we receive. This can include witness reports and activity such as anti-social behaviour or assaults. Where an incident is connected to a premises through court proceedings this would also be taken into consideration.”

They added they work closely with the borough council to ensure premises are complying with the conditions of their licence.

What do you think? Is drinking a problem in Boston? Email stephen.stray@jpress.co.uk.