Attacks on licensees go unpunished

By James Wilmore

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: National pubwatch, Attack

More shocking examples of thugs not being properly punished for attacking licensees have emerged in response to a new campaign. National Pubwatch's...

More shocking examples of thugs not being properly punished for attacking licensees have emerged in response to a new campaign.

National Pubwatch's Court Not Caution has struck a chord with publicans, who feel attackers are not being dealt with properly by the authorities.

Steve Baker, National Pubwatch chairman, met with Home Office officials last week to discuss the issue and has written to every MP asking them to back the campaign. Fifty MPs have already signed a parliametary motion supporting the campaign.

In the latest case, David Sullivan, licensee of the Oddfellows Arms, in Higham on the Hill, Leicestershire, is taking legal action against the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) because he claims he was attacked in his pub, but the offender was never prosecuted.

The incident happened when David was telephoning police to report that a man had attacked another customer.

But while he was on the phone, the customer came behind the bar and punched him three times in the face.

The licensee spent 10 days in hospital with head injuries, a damaged spine and a broken toe. He has been on incapacity benefit since the incident last August.

"I haven't been able to work since and now the brewery is selling the pub," said David.

CPS Leicestershire district crown prosecutor Nigel Chapman said "unfortunately there was not enough evidence to charge anybody with any offence".

Meanwhile, at the Caeffatri, in Bridgend, Mid Glamorgan, licensee Howell Williams is furious with his local police because, he claims, officers failed to take any witness statements after he was assaulted.

Howell says he had his glasses broken and was attacked by a man, who he had asked to leave the pub.

"He gave me massive verbals, took my glasses, then hit me," said Howell. "But the police wouldn't take any witness statement and then the Crown Prosecution Service dropped the case because there was no witnesses," he said.

An arrest was made, but nobody was prosecuted for the attack, the police said.

Court Not Caution

The National Pubwatch campaign is calling for those who attack licensees to be dealt with at court rather than with a police caution. So far more than 400 people have signed a petition backing the cause at petitions.number10.gov.uk/courtnotcaution

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