DCSIMG

Artful Dodger pub banned over failure to report glassing

The Artful Dodger in Sighthill

The Artful Dodger in Sighthill

A BAR has been banned from selling alcohol after the manager failed to report a serious attack which left a man permanently scarred.

The Artful Dodger in Calder Road, Sighthill, had the ban imposed following an incident where a customer was struck to the face with a glass tumbler on October 5.

Lothian and Borders Police Chief Constable David Strang called for a licence review as a result of the incident, which resulted in a three-week ban being slapped on it by licensing officials.

Police representative PC Lynne Symington told Edinburgh Licensing Board: “At this time the victim was at the bar of the Artful Dodger, he was struck from behind with the tumbler a male who then left the premises. The designated premises manager, Stanley McKinley, was in charge of offences at the time and was aware of the assault, but despite the severity at the time failed to contact either police or the 
ambulance.”

Monday’s hearing was told how the victim got a taxi to the ERI where he required 21 stitches. He has been left permanently disfigured.

“The matter was then reported some days later to the police by the injured party,” said the officer, adding: “Due to Mr McKinley’s failure to report it to the police at the time, investigation into a serious crime has been impaired and officers were denied the opportunity to attend the scene, to take to detain the assailant, to recover forensic evidence and to interview witnesses.”

The pub was accused of failing to notify the police about other incidents, including a mass brawl involving 20 people.

But Alistair McDonald, acting for the pub, said that two of the incidents were “irrelevant” – including the fight – which had happened outside.

Explaining the circumstances, Mr McDonald said bar staff did everything they could do to help.

He said: “They did stress to him that it was quite a massive looking cut and he really should go to hospital but, no, he didn’t want to go. It was all in a matter of minutes.

“Should the pub have phoned? Yes, they should have.

“There was no intention to be uncooperative with the police or to avoid their 
responsibilities.

“When the police came they were shown CCTV footage – a copy of the CCTV footage. Again, there was no lack of 
cooperation.”

He accepted it was the owner’s decision “not to phone the police” and said “retrospectively this was not a great thing to do.”

He added: “He accepts total responsibility for that.”

Mr McDonald, who told the board the pub had lost £14,000 during the last ban, urged members to consider a short ban for the sake of jobs and keeping the watering hole open in the long term.

“Losing Christmas and New Year would be catastrophic,” he said. “I don’t think the mistake that has been made here justifies everyone here losing their jobs.

But the board took the decision to ban the pub from trading with immediate effect for three weeks.

Board chairman Eric Milligan said: “I understand that this will impact in your business, particularly at this time of the year, but we simply cannot have a continuation of these types of incident taking 
place.”

A two-week ban was imposed on the pub in June last year after a different attack.

 

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