Troubled Chelmsford pub has licence suspended

Following an incident at the weekend where four people were assaulted and other matters since July 4, the licence for The Bay Horse pub in Chelmsford has been suspended.

Essex Police licensing officers submitted an application to Chelmsford City Council for a summary review of the premises licence to sell alcohol asking for the licence to be suspended.

Following a hearing today, Thursday August 13, a decision was taken by the council to suspend the licence until a full licensing hearing can be held.

Essex Police stated in its application that at a full licensing hearing the force intends to ask for the licence to be permanently revoked.

Emergency services were called to The Bay Horse in Moulsham Street shortly after midnight on Sunday August 9 to reports of people being assaulted. Two men aged in their 20s and 30s were taken to hospital with serious injuries and two other people were taken to hospital with less serious injuries.

A 25-year-old man from Chelmsford was arrested on suspicion of being in possession of an offensive weapon and GBH with intent and has been released on police bail pending further enquiries until August 21.

Police have been called to other disturbances at the pub since restrictions were lifted on July 4.

Detective Inspector Kelly Thurston of the Chelmsford Local Policing Team said: “The disorder at the weekend was serious and follows on from a number of reported disturbances at the venue and reports that its customers were not socially distancing.

“The Essex Police licensing team and I decided to take action to close the venue to protect the public and send a warning to other pubs that irresponsible trading, anti social behaviour and serious assaults, especially in the light of Covid 19 restrictions on gatherings, may ultimately lead to the closure of businesses.

“I hope this action sends a clear message to other licensees that organisations like the police and local councils will take action to keep people safe and tackle any breaches of licences where they are identified.

“The residents, local Neighbourhood Watch teams and residents’ associations were particularly helpful in sending information and video clips to Essex Police which has led to us being able to get this review done quickly.

“Myself and Chelmsford District Commander Chief Inspector Steve Scott-Haynes want to personally say thank you for all of the support we have received from the local community in relation to this matter.”

Councillor Rose Moore, Cabinet Member for Greener & Safer Chelmsford at the city council, said, “We need everyone to work together to create a safer Chelmsford. Not just the police and the council, but venue owners, shop managers and the public too.

“It’s extremely disappointing that this particular venue did not do all it could to protect its customers and the wider world from antisocial behaviour and from the spread of Covid-19, especially when I know that so many other businesses are working hard to continue operating while keeping everyone safe.

“I hope this shows that we will take action wherever businesses are acting irresponsibly.”

The full licensing hearing will take place on a date yet to be fixed, but before September 9, and until the outcome of that hearing The Bay Horse will remain closed.

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Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]