Sutton police appeal Wonderland licence review decision

By Gurjit Degun

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Licensing authority Critical thinking Law Metropolitan police

Police: they have appealed a licence review decison
Police: they have appealed a licence review decison
The Metropolitan Police have appealed a licence review decision against late-night venue in which the licensing authority accused officers of presenting “slanted” evidence.

The case involving late-night venue Wonderland in Sutton, Surrey, saw police officers claim that the venue sold drinks at lower prices and served them quickly; and served drunken customers and then eject them “uncaringly”.

However, a report from the licensing sub-committee said: “No part of that assertion was substantiated either by way of CCTV or credible oral evidence.”

The police have lodged eight grounds of appeal. They said that the licensing authority failed to “give proper weight to and/or properly understand relevant matters”. This included the evidence on “excessive drunkenness permitted and/or tolerated” at the premises; evidence of drinks promotions and underage attendance at the premises; and the “inadequacies of successive designated premises supervisors".

Incorrect understanding

The police added that the licensing authority “took into account and/or gave excessive weight to irrelevant and/or erroneous findings of fact”. This included the “perceived failure” of officers to visit the premises when it is open, to properly edit documents given to the sub-committee and the CCTV footage.

They also accused the licensing authority of relying on “an incorrect understanding” and “irrelevant aspects” of two separate but similar legal cases.

Lucy Herlighy, operations manager at No Saints, said: “Police originally issued a licence review in December 2012 and Wonderland had to trade for five months faced with the threat of revocation. We were very pleased with the decision of the licensing committee to take no action and are extremely disappointed that the police are going to appeal, creating more instability for the pub and staff.”

Pub trade consultant, and former licensee, Michael Kheng said: “I think the police should just take heed of what has been said and revisit how to put that evidence together and not go down the appeal route.”

He said that other police forces should take notice of this case but is not confident they will because this is not a judicial review.

The case is being handled by licensing law firm Poppleston Allen on behalf of No Saints.

Related topics Licensing law

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