Premises licence lost after all-night drinking

Melody in Commercial Road
Melody in Commercial Road
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A RESTAURANT that hosted all-night drinking sessions for customers has had its premises licence revoked.

Melody, a Chinese restaurant in Commercial Road, Portsmouth, had its licence called in for review by police after an investigation during which individuals reported they paid as little as £20 to drink and eat as much as they wanted and sing karaoke until 6am.

Licence-holder and designated premises supervisor Wei Wei Jin was called before the licencing committee and could also now face criminal charges.

The licence meeting was chaired by Councillor Lee Mason and attended by PC Pete Rackham and licensing manager at Portsmouth City Council Nikki Humphreys.

During the hearing, PC Rackham said: ‘The police believe whatever measures are added to the licence, it will just be breached.’

The police attended the restaurant on three separate occasions earlier this year to discover three karoake rooms filled with people drinking and smoking after hours.

PC Rackham added: ‘She was given a month to sort her shop out by police or she would face prosecution.’

Miss Jin, who required an interpretor for the hearing, said it was not a ‘free-for-all’ and described the sessions as ‘private functions’.

She apologised and her counsel said: ‘Miss Jin accepts that the karaoke rooms were in use and that there were customers drinking, but no alcohol was sold after 11pm.’

Councillors raised concerns over people being reportedly able to buy large bottles of spirits just before the restaurant was legally supposed to close.

Miss Jin’s counsel told the meeting she did not believe she was breaching the licence.

The restaurant will have 21 days to appeal the decision before the licence revocation takes effect.