Pub falls foul of underage sting

news picbytim 2601'breakin'Royal Mail Cart Spalding
news picbytim 2601'breakin'Royal Mail Cart Spalding

A LANDLADY has admitted serving alcohol to underage teenagers, but says her error was partly due to the pressures of keeping her pub open.

Sue Stoker, of Spalding’s Royal Mail Cart, could face prosecution or lose her licence after failing a police test purchase operation last Friday.

Police sent 15 and 16-year-old volunteers into the Pinchbeck Road pub after they had received “significant intelligence” about underage sales throughout the year.

After the sale was made, uniformed officers recorded the details of all persons within the venue, and claim the majority were below the legal age for drinking. Some admitted buying alcohol.

Mrs Stoker, who was serving on her own at the time, has since apologised and taken steps to prevent future underage sales.

She said: “With the roadworks outside and everything going up, pubs are dying. I’m working extra long hours, I’ve had to cut back on staff and I’m so tired. When I’m in the bar on my own it’s not easy.”

She added: “I should have asked for ID.”

Mrs Stoker, who has been at the pub for 20 years, denies that the majority of her customers are underage.

She will now be invited to meet licensing officers and the premises licence will also be subject to a review application.