A pub is in danger of closing down following a damning council report; however, its owner has described the document as ‘mind boggling’.
Hampshire Constabulary has called for a premise licence review of The Highwayman in Yateley following two serious incidents that took place in 2013.
David King, principal licensing officer at Hart District Council, has prepared a report into the future of the pub, describing two violent incidents there, which will be discussed by councillors this week.
Referring to the first incident, Mr King said: “A male was assaulted in the car park of the premises following an altercation with two other males, which resulted in the male victim receiving a serious fractured jaw, rendering him unable to eat solid food for four weeks.”
Referring to the second incident, Mr King said: “A male was seriously assaulted in the car park of the premises which resulted in him receiving a fractured skull and a brain haemorrhage, which when initially assessed by a doctor at Frimley Park Hospital was assessed as being potentially life threatening.”
PC lain Barnes, of Hampshire Constabulary, is asking Hart District Council to consider several conditions to be attached to the premises licence under the prevention of crime and disorder and public safety to prevent such incidents from occurring if the pub remains open.
A three member panel of Hart’s licensing committee will consider the future of the pub during a hearing on Tuesday January 7. Panel members can modify the conditions of the premises licence, remove the designated premises supervisor from the licence, suspended the licence for up to three months or revoke it.
PC Barnes would also like to see the licence holder present at the pub from 5pm on Fridays and until closing time on Saturdays when there is entertainment such as live music, karaoke or disco.
Hugh Asher, who has owned the pub for the last four years, said: “I think the police have grossly overstepped the mark with regard to this.
“The incidents happened outside the pub when me and my staff were inside. We are a food-led pub, not a late-night drinking place.
“A lot of the councillors come in here and eat so they know what type of establishment we are and what I stand for.
“I’m sure common sense will prevail on January 7 when they see what type of person I am and what type of establishment we run.”
The first violent incident in the report took place just after midnight on August 24, 2013, while investigations into the second incident are still ongoing.
A 30-year-old man from Yateley has been re-bailed pending further enquiries until January 17. A 44-year-old man from Sandhurst has also been arrested on suspicion of assault and is currently on bail pending further enquiries until January 15.