Portsmouth pub could lose licence after ‘a cycle of violence’ including a man’s earlobe being bitten off

The Painter's Arms in Lake Road, Portsmouth
  • The Painters Arms’ future is in jeopardy after police report ‘a cycle of violence’ at the premises in 2017
  • Landport pub had been on watch since 2014
  • Incidents include a man’s earlobe being bitten off

A PUB is facing stern action after being enveloped in a ‘cycle of violence’ this year.

Following a catalogue of violent incidents, including two women puncturing a man’s lung by stamping on him, The Painters Arms in Lake Road could lose its premises licence.

The DPS has repeatedly failed to act on police advice and this has led to an increase in violence at the premises

PC Pete Rackham

The Landport pub has been on the police’s radar since 2014 when concerns were first raised after a spike in the level of incidents.

However, the issues have escalated in the last year and the force insists action needs to be taken due to the increasingly violent nature of the incidents.

The city council’s licensing sub-committee will review the licence on Tuesday.

Calling for the licence to be removed, PC Peter Rackham, licensing officer at Hampshire police, wrote to the committee.

He said: ‘Revocation of the premises licence would also immediately stop the premises from being the focal point for a cycle of violence which has been prevalent in 2017 at the premises.

‘Given that incidents are increasing in nature and violence is becoming more prevalent, action needs to be taken.’

Bernice Gofton has been the designated premises supervisor (DPS) since 2009.

In his report, PC Rackham criticises Ms Gofton’s role in allowing the increase in violence over the years.

He states: ‘The DPS has repeatedly failed to act on police advice and this has led to an increase in violence at the premises.

It has also been found that staff did not know how to operate the CCTV system and the pub was caught selling alcohol out of licensed hours on numerous occasions.

Earlier in February, officers also reported to a dispute between bar staff – in which one was alleged to be drunk and selling alcohol to customers without payment.

The most violent incidents include a man being assaulted after he intervened during a dispute between two women, leading to him being stamped on the floor by the two attackers.

Later on September 9, a man’s earlobe was bitten off during an attack on the premises.

The lease of the property is owned by the EI Group – formerly Enterprise Inns.

A letter to the committee from Gosschalks Solicitors, acting on behalf of the EI Group, states: ‘It is common ground that the Painters Arms has been a public house for a number of years and it is only recently these issues have surfaced.

‘In the circumstances, we would respectfully submit that revocation of the premises licence is not an appropriate and proportionate response.’

The letter states removing Ms Gofton would be the ‘appropriate response.’

The committee will make a decision when it meets on Tuesday.

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