Police block pub’s late-night licence bid

By Nicholas Robinson contact

- Last updated on GMT

Police objection: Stockton's Wobbly Goblin bid to stay open until 5.30am (image: Google Maps)
Police objection: Stockton's Wobbly Goblin bid to stay open until 5.30am (image: Google Maps)

Related tags: Alcoholism, Drinking culture, Middlesbrough

Police are obstructing a Teesside pub’s bid to open until 5.30am because of its “violent past”, despite bosses claiming the site now attracts a more “cosmopolitan” clientele.

A formal objection to Stockton Council’s licensing committee from the local police said the Wobbly Goblin, Stockton-on-Tees, “has in the past suffered with a lot of violent incidents” and is a “serious concern”.

Boss Dino Paleschi conceded the venue was previously plagued by violence, but now attracted a more “cosmopolitan” clientele, according to local reports.

One man jailed

Violent incidents of the past include one man being jailed for 18 months after leaving a customer needing metal plates in his face following one violent punch.

Stockton is already near saturation point with pubs and the Wobbly Goblin would be nothing more than an “end-of-night” venue where people would go for a final drink, said the police.

However, Paleschi claimed, if allowed to open until 5.30am on Saturdays and Sundays, the pub would become a nightclub and would allow punters into the site from late in the evening.

Many of the site’s “violent” punters had since been barred from the Wobbly Goblin to the detriment of sales, he added.

He told the local press: “We have liaised with the police and got on top of the trouble. We have put quite a lot of extra measures in place and they seem to have worked."

‘Asking for later hours’

He added: “We don’t really get any trouble now and the customers are asking for later hours.”

Yet, Stockton is ranked 15th​ nationally for binge drinking and is said to be an area where residents are more likely to drink excessively than anywhere in the north-east.

Cleveland Police added: “If granted a 5am sale of alcohol then Stockton will have a premises that opens longer than any other and will be a magnet for drunken persons from other premises who will want to continue their night out and the potential for drink-fuelled violence will increase.”

Related topics: Licensing law, Legal

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