West Yorkshire Police had recommended that John Foulstone, landlord of the Woodman at Batley Carr, should be removed as licensee following the breach and a string over other incidents over the last 18 months.
However he will instead have to comply with a list of rigorous conditions that includes installing CCTV, employing security staff and completing a licence holder’s course run by the British Institute of Inn Keeping.
Mr Foulstone, who has kept the Woodman for 17 years, was slapped with a £1,000 fine after police visited the pub in January following an anonymous tip-off.
They found 11 people inside the pub and evidence that they had been drinking. No-one was wearing PPE and social distancing was not in place.
Police also raised concerns around under-age drinking at the premises as well as fighting, including a mass brawl at Christmas 2019 in which a 16-year-old was seriously injured.
They also dealt with a reported sexual assault on a “vulnerable” 17-year-old who said she had earlier been drinking at the premises.
It led the force to call for a change of management.
A solicitor representing Mr Foulstone told Kirklees Council’s Licensing Panel on March 3 that the Covid breaches were “unacceptable” but disputed a police report that said alcohol had been sold on the premises during lockdown.
He said there was no evidence to prove commercial sales had taken place.
He also argued that Mr Foulstone had refused entry to those involved in the mass Christmas gathering and that the incident had not taken place inside the Woodman but instead outside on Hartley Street.
He said there was no evidence that “unlawful activity” was going on inside the pub and “no widespread practice” of serving alcohol to underage people.
He also challenged the timescale of the run-up to the reported sexual assault, arguing that the victim claimed to have been in the Woodman when the pub was in fact shut during last summer’s lockdown.
The Licensing Panel said conditions stipulated by West Yorkshire Police should be applied to the licence at the Woodman.
- The installation of comprehensive digital colour CCTV to cover all public areas including all public entry and exit points
- A minimum of two Security Industry Authority (SIA) approved door staff to be employed Friday and Saturday night from 8pm until all customers have left the premises
- The licensee and designated premises supervisor to complete a recognised personal Licence Holder’s Course from the British Institute of Inn Keeping
- No persons under the age of 18 to be allowed on the premises after 6pm
- An incident log to be kept at the premises for at least six months and made available on request to relevant authorities
- A full risk assessment to be in place for Covid-19 to a standard approved by Kirklees Environmental Health
- Monitoring visits to be carried out by the relevant authorities