Owners of ‘violent’ Portchester pub to appeal closure

APPEAL The Portsdown Inn
APPEAL The Portsdown Inn

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THE owner of a pub told to close because of its violent history and poor management is to fight the decision.

Admiral Taverns, which owns the Portsdown Inn in Leith Avenue, Portchester, has confirmed that it has launched an appeal against last week’s ruling by Fareham Borough Council’s licensing panel.

Police had warned that if the pub was allowed to stay open someone would be killed there.

They had asked for the pub’s licence to be called in for review after a fight outside it in the early hours of January 28 which left a man with a broken leg and serious head injuries.

Six people remain on bail connected to the brawl.

The panel agreed and ordered the licence to be withdrawn.

A spokesman for Admiral Taverns said: ‘An appeal has been launched. In the meantime the pub has voluntarily agreed to last orders at 10.30pm.’

The pub is licensed to serve until midnight and can remain open pending the appeal’s outcome.

It will be heard at a magistrates’ court at a future date.

Fareham district commander Chief Inspector Jason Kenny said: ‘The Portsdown Inn has fallen far short of the standards we would expect of a responsible business over a prolonged period of time.

‘This lack of confidence in successive licensees at these premises meant we firmly believed that taking away the pub’s licence was the only option to prevent more serious violence.

‘Such a recommendation is never considered lightly, but we urged the licensing committee to take this tough action to help police protect the community.’

The pub has had five designated premises supervisors since 2009, and police said the high turnover contributed to the venue’s problems.

And there had also been five other serious incidents at the pub since 2010 involving a knuckle-duster being used, a stabbing, an attack with a glass, and a drinker having part of their ear bitten off earlier this month.

Landlady Julie Manns, who has been in charge of the pub since September, previously told The News she was trying to improve the situation at the pub. She declined to comment on the appeal.