Pub faces licence review as landlord vows to quit

LAST ORDERS The landlord of The Star is sick of trouble at the pub.
LAST ORDERS The landlord of The Star is sick of trouble at the pub.

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THE landlord of a notorious pub is quitting, saying he wants to run one he can control.

Simon Cook said some customers at The Star, in North Street, Havant, only go out looking for fights and now he wants a quieter life.

The pub had its licence reviewed last year following a series of violent attacks.

Mr Cook said he wasn’t quitting because of the trouble – but it comes at a time when the pub may end up losing its licence.

Police say they will once again review the premises after a spate of disturbance.

It comes as two women were charged with assault following a fight at the pub last Saturday.

Mr Cook said: ‘Since the review we’ve had hardly any trouble, it went right down.

‘We probably get the same as any other pub gets but I’ve just had enough.

‘It’s late nights, early mornings and it doesn’t pay much. I’ve decided to have a break and I might go back to being an electrician.

‘I will look at another pub in future but a different sort of pub – one where you’re not dealing with people who want to come out, get drunk and have a fight.

‘The majority of people are really nice but there are the odd few. I’d like a local pub where you can do a bit of food. Somewhere you can keep control a lot better.’

Police reviewed the pub’s licence in July last year after a catalogue of violent attacks.

Mr Cook upgraded CCTV and introduced plastic glasses and more doormen.

But Andrew Williams, a nearby resident, said the problems remain.

‘I’m sick to death of the noise and fights,’ said Mr Williams. ‘I’ve complained to the police 10 times over the past 18 months, and I’ve complained to Environmental Health about the noise and I always get told “we will make some enquiries” but that doesn’t help me or my baby get to sleep. I thought things were going to get better after the review but the situation has got worse and worse.

‘I don’t know why the police don’t move their headquarters to Havant town centre.’

PC Andy Hibbert, licensing officer for Havant, said trouble at the pub had persisted.

‘The Star pub has faced a review in the past and had stringent conditions placed on it,’ he said.

‘However, problems have continued to occur, despite the efforts of the manager, the efficient and reliable door staff, and police.

‘Therefore the premise licence is again being looked at, and appropriate and robust action will be taken to tackle this criminal and anti-social behaviour.’

A date for the licence hearing has not yet been set.

* Two women have been charged with assault following the fight in The Star on Saturday. Stacey Killick, 27, of North Street, Havant and Laura Williams, 27, of Warnford Crescent, Havant will appear at Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court on Monday.