Judge to rule in smoke ban case

By James Wilmore

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Rebel hamish howitt Judge Hamish howitt

A High Court judge will rule today on a case involving smoke ban rebel Hamish Howitt and his battle to save his premises licence. Howitt defended...

A High Court judge will rule today on a case involving smoke ban rebel Hamish Howitt and his battle to save his premises licence.

Howitt defended himself during today's hearing, at the Royal Courts of Justice in London, over an appeal brought by Blackpool Council.

In April this year Howitt won an appeal against the council's decision to revoke his premises licence at his venue Delboy's.

He has permitted people to smoke at the venue since the smoking ban took effect.

However the council is arguing that the magistrates' interpreted the Licensing Act wrongly. It claims Howitt is failing to prevent crime and disorder by allowing people to smoke.

Ben Williams QC, representing Blackpool Council, told the court: "To say crime and disorder is just drunken yobbish behaviour is far too narrow an interpretation."

He later suggested the magistrates had adopted a "tunnel vision" approach.

Samantha Broadfoot QC, representing the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, argued the crime and disorder objective was "conjunctive" and that it should be crime "or" disorder.

Later Howitt, branded the smoking ban a "slight on highly-taxed lawful consenting adults".

Howitt concluded by arguing his bar was "one of the most well controlled bars in Blackpool and possibly the UK" and the objectives of crime and disorder should be viewed together, not separately.

In retiring to give his verdict, the judge said this was an "important point from all points of view".

Check thepublican.com later for the verdict.

Related topics Legislation

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