Blackpool smoke ban rebel loses licence

By James Wilmore

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Rebel hamish howitt, Smoke ban rebel, Judge, Hamish howitt

Smoke ban rebel Hamish Howitt has today effectively been stripped of his premises licence after a High Court judge upheld an appeal by his local...

Smoke ban rebel Hamish Howitt has today effectively been stripped of his premises licence after a High Court judge upheld an appeal by his local council.

Howitt, owner of Delboy's Sports bar, Blackpool, previously won an appeal against a decision to revoke his licence.

However Blackpool Council took an appeal to the High Court arguing the magistrates had misinterpreted the law.

And today Judge Denyer found in favour of the council. "The answer is the court was wrong and I will allow this appeal," he said.

The council claimed Howitt had failing to prevent crime and disorder, under the Licensing Act, by allowing people to smoke in the bar.

Howitt argued that smoking had not led to any disorder in his pub.

But the judge agreed with the council that crime and disorder should be viewed together, even though smoking was not as serious an offence as others, such as dealing drugs.

Speaking to The Publican​ after the verdict, Howitt, who the judge ruled will not have to pay costs for the case because it was of public interest, said: "I'm absolutely gutted. But I think I have won a moral victory by not having to pay costs."

The judge also said that he would not allow Howitt to appeal the decision.

However Howitt has vowed to continue his fight and take the matter to the House of Lords.

Howitt added that he would not allow smoking in his other bar, the Happy Scots.

Related topics: Licensing law

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