Portsmouth naval pub gets stay of execution after police concerns over brutal attack

The Royal Standard
The Royal Standard
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A PORTSMOUTH pub where a man suffered a fractured skull in a brutal attack has been given a chance to prove it can clean up its act.

The Royal Standard, in Edinburgh Road, must abide by new conditions approved by licensing officials or run the risk of being closed down.

It comes after police revealed seven people were attacked during a barmaid’s leaving do – leaving a man with ‘multiple face fractures’ and a ‘basal skull fracture’ while a woman had her collar bone broken.

The horrific drama on January 15 came after a string of more minor issues at the pub, which has had strong ties with the Royal Navy over the years, stretching back to 2015.

After being ordered by the council’s licensing panel and police to tighten up practices at an emergency meeting three days after the attack, the pub was yesterday told to behave in line with a stricter permanent licence.

Two security staff must be on the door on Fridays and Saturdays for the next three months. Regular records need to be kept of staff attendance and absence and CCTV records must be kept up to date and ready for inspection.

Matthew Phipps, representing the pub’s owners, Punch Taverns, welcomed the move after fearing heavily restrictive rules would ‘finish’ the pub. Yet police had recommended the pub’s licence be removed despite being pleased with progress after the January attack.

Licensing officer, PC Pete Rackham, said: ‘What the chief officer of police wants to make very clear is yes, we admit there has been changes to the premises, yes, we note the duty premises supervisor is working with us, and is compliant with the conditions of the licence.

‘But it has taken a review to get to that stage, and get that premises to a position where it’s finally working as one that supports the licensing objectives.’ The licensing panel questioned why action was not taken sooner to prevent serious injury.

Cllr Madden said: ‘There seems to me there were several incidents, and none of them made their way up to Punch Taverns which could have enacted some action.

‘That didn’t happen.’

Mr Phipps said he had ‘apologised unreservedly’ to the victims involved.