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Pub owner loses licence after multiple breaches of coronavirus rules Published Date: 11/02/2021

A pub that opened when it was supposed to be shut, broke social distancing and other rules has had its premises licence revoked.

Wales Online reports that the owner, Alan Reynolds, of Santa Clara in St Clears, which breached coronavirus regulations last March and again in October pleaded with Carmarthenshire councillors not to revoke his licence, claiming the venue had done more good than bad and that its name had been "dragged through the trenches".

The committee heard that the licensed premises, although owned by Mr Reynolds, was run by another person, Richard Pearce, who had been present when the offences took place.

The sub-committee was told that Mr Pearce appeared to be intoxicated when a Dyfed-Powys Police officer and Trading Standards officer attended the Santa Clara at around 8.45pm on October 8. The report said 15 to 20 people were sitting in front of the bar area watching a football match, with no social distancing.  It also said no masks were worn by staff or by customers going to the toilet, and that a customer went up to the bar for a drink while the officers were present.

Dyfed-Powys Police initially requested the suspension of the premises licence for three months and the removal of Mr Pearce as the designated premises supervisor. But the force softened its approach between the end of March and August 18, when the review hearing took place, because of the changing regulations and the fact that no further breaches at the Santa Clara had been reported.

At the August 18 hearing, the licensing sub-committee agreed to the police's recommendations, meaning the licence was not suspended and that Mr Pearce remained in charge, but with additional licensing conditions.

But following the October 8 breaches, Dyfed-Powys Police, Trading Standards, and the council's licensing department all recommended that the licence should be revoked.

In the statement after the meeting, Cllr Jones said: "Despite a previous licence review and a number of warnings from the police and licensing officers, the designated premises supervisor for the Santa Clara pub continued to breach licensing laws and the coronavirus regulations including serving alcohol from the premises when it should have been closed.

"Licences are there for a reason and that is to ensure that the operation of a premises promotes the licence objectives of preventing crime and disorder, public safety, preventing public nuisance and protecting children from harm.

"Unfortunately at the Santa Clara this was not happening, and the criminal offences committed were a direct result of poor management by the designated premises supervisor and premises licence holder.”

Source: Wales Online