A CITY pub threatened with having its licence revoked after a stolen motorbike was found inside the premises has won a reprieve from councillors.
The Duddingston Mull will continue to trade despite officers discovering the £5000 vehicle during a recent operation.
The Niddrie pub previously lost its licence after an alleged dog-fighting ring was exposed two years ago.
Convicted drug dealers James Carlin and Mark Richardson – both now serving sentences in Saughton – were among those initially charged with attending the fight in September 2009.
But the case collapsed after witnesses failed to give evidence.
This week, at the city licensing board meeting, councillors heard evidence from police who recommended a review due to the findings on August 2.
During a search of the premises they also flagged up concerns that licence documentation was not on display and that there was no licensed landlord present in the pub.
They were also not happy that “jokey comments” had been stuck with Post-it notes onto the landlady’s personal licence.
However, despite the concerns, councillors said the evidence was not sufficient to revoke the licence, although landlady Jacqueline Glasgow was given a formal warning.
Councillor Marjorie Thomas, convenor of the licensing board, said: “The police raised the issue of the stolen bike found within a bowling alley attached to the pub which is no longer in use.
“Other issues concerned the premises not being managed by fully qualified staff.
“However, in this case we found there was insufficient evidence to suspend [the licence] on this occasion.
“The police had no reports of violence on the premises and the stolen bike was the only incident recorded.”
Councillor Alastair Paisley said that the decision not to revoke Ms Glasgow’s licence or the pub’s alcohol licence had been a close one.
He said: “The main offence was that the place was open without a recognised licence holder, however, and there was the £5000 stolen bike found on the premises.
“They were extremely lucky to retain their licence, and I think Ms Glasgow has had a severe warning.
“We’ve said if it comes back to the board again there will be no mercy.”
“The pub has a long history. It is under particular scrutiny because of the [alleged] dog fighting incident. The police and the LSOs will be paying particular attention to it.”
No-one at the Duddingston Mull was available to speak about the case.
Meanwhile, councillors have revoked the licence of a store on Leith Walk for selling alcohol to under-age youths.
Saliman Zafar, who runs the City Fruit Supply, lost his licence for two weeks after an undercover operation by city council licensing officers.
A 16-year-old working undercover was able to buy alcopops from the store without being challenged.
Councillor Thomas added: “This individual was caught out during an operation targeting premises in the Leith area.
“Selling alcohol to underage teenagers is a big issue in Leith and we take a very dim view of those who commit such offences.”