Stanion shotgun pub closed for another three months

The Lord Nelson had its licence temporarily suspended last month after a New Years day incident and today the suspension was extended for three months.

Wednesday, 5th February 2020, 4:22 pm
Updated Wednesday, 5th February 2020, 4:24 pm
A incident at the Lord Nelson on January 2 is still under police investigation.

A Stanion pub at the centre of a police investigation after a New Year fracas has been closed down for a further three months.

The Lord Nelson had its premises licence suspended for another 12 weeks this morning by Corby Council’s liquor licensing panel after carrying out a review of the licence on request of Northamptonshire Police.

The force is investigating a violent incident at the village pub in the early hours of January 2 which left a man seriously wounded. During an armed raid police found an illegal shotgun under landlord Michael Zacharias’ bed and other weapons including baseball bats and a meat cleaver were found in the Brigstock Road venue.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Last month the licensing panel had suspended the licence on an interim basis and after hearing more details today of how the pub has been run, the licensing panel decided to suspend the licence for three months and also add additional conditions to the licence when the pub begins to trade again.

Its alcohol sale hours will be reduced to 11pm each night and there will also be new conditions on the pub’s outside smoking area. It has also to put in additional CCTV at all entrances and in exit points including the smoking area.

A police report said Mr Zacharias had refused to cooperate fully and could not provide CCTV footage available to help police with their investigations as the equipment was not working.

Corby Council’s legal officer Mehboob Kassam said the panel had made its decision partly due to concerns about a lack of management control and the ongoing police investigation.

He said: “The committee are of the unanimous view that on the balance of probabilities the current operation of the Lord Nelson is not promoting the licensing objectives of preventing crime and disorder, preventing public nuisance and protection of children from harm.”

Because of the ongoing criminal investigation Northants Police had requested that part of the hearing was heard behind closed doors.

A letter written to the panel by a concerned resident had said the pub was ‘a well known haven’ for buying and selling drugs and that regular late night music and after hours lock-ins were contravening existing licensing conditions.

However, three regulars spoke at the hearing and sang the praises of the village’s only pub.

Lawrence Robinson said: “My wife and I moved to Stanion a year ago. One of the things we were looking for was a nice little village with a nice pub. Our family wants to come and visit us every weekend and one of the things they enjoy is the Lord Nelson pub. We have been made to feel very welcome. In all the time we have been there we have never seen any form of trouble. I am astonished to hear about drug taking because that is something I have never seen in the pub.”

Joy Gregory also acclaimed the Lord Nelson as a family-friendly venue.

She said: “We will all miss it and the friendly atmosphere. It is just a nice village pub.”

Speaking after the hearing landlord Michael Zacharias, who has run it since 1997, said: “It’s just a devastating blow really. You try your best and this is what happens.”

He now has 21 days to appeal against the decision. An appeal would be heard by a magistrates court’ which could decide to overturn the licensing panel’s decision.

Two men, one aged 28 and one aged 59, were arrested and released pending further enquiries. A police spokesman said no charges have been made and that their investigation is ongoing.