Landlady keeps licence after serving youngsters

Landlady Sue Stoker, of the Royal Mail Cart, said she was 'truly sorry' for serving underage teenagers.
Landlady Sue Stoker, of the Royal Mail Cart, said she was 'truly sorry' for serving underage teenagers.
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A PUB landlady has been allowed to keep her personal licence after being caught serving two underage teenagers in a sting operation.

Magistrates in Spalding said Royal Mail Cart landlady Sue Stoker would not have her licence forfeited or suspended due to her lack of previous convictions.

Stoker (60) was summoned to court to face two charges of selling alcohol to someone under 18, despite already having her premises licence revoked by South Holland District Council’s licensing panel earlier this year.

Edward Johnson, prosecuting, described on Tuesday how police had received intelligence from the father of underage children, who was concerned they had been sold alcohol in the Pinchbeck Road pub.

He said a letter was sent to the pub warning test purchase operations may be carried out.

Mr Johnson told the court further complaints were made later in the year and last April, officers were called out to a drunk underage female who had collapsed outside the venue.

The intelligence resulted in a test purchase exercise.

He said: “A 15-year-old and a 16-year-old went into the premises. There were a number of police officers and local authority staff. The drinks were sold to the volunteers, despite them being underage. They were not challenged as to their ages.

“Following the purchases the officers identified themselves to the lady and she was interviewed at the police station.”

He added: “She accepted she was wrong and did express remorse.”

The pub has since ceased trading.

Stoker, who was unrepresented, handed a statement to be read by the court.

In it, she described how she “did not give it a thought” when the teens went into the pub because she was on her own and very busy. She said she had been a landlady for more than 20 years and she had learnt her lesson.

Stoker also told the court how the young girl who collapsed outside the pub was believed to have been drinking outside the pub, as half a bottle of vodka had been removed from her bag. She said the girl was left with a trained first aider.

Stoker said: “I do care, I care about young people and I want the court to know I would never leave a young lady on her own.”

She said she had “lost everything” and did not want to lose her personal licence.

She added: “I have made a mistake and I have admitted my mistake. I am truly sorry for what I have done.”

Magistrates fined Stoker, of Percheron Drive, Spalding, £75 for each of the two charges and ordered her to pay £85 costs and a £15 victim surcharge.