Ex-offender, Stephen Leather, denied pub role at The Bell in Kings Langley

Ex-offender denied pub manager role

Ex-offender denied pub manager role

First published in News
Last updated
Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

Police have blocked an application for a new manager to be introduced in a Kings Langley pub after they raised concerns of the candidate’s previous criminal convictions, including selling alcohol to underage children.

This comes after the landlord of The Bell, Daniel Fenwick, put in the application to introduce Stephen Leather as the new designated premises manager (DPM), while he set up business at a newly opened bar in Nottingham.

At the licensing committee meeting last night (Tuesday), Sergeant Marie White objected to Mr Leather taking the role as manager at the pub in Primrose Hill due to his previous 33 criminal convictions including "violent" and alcohol related crimes.

Some of his previous convictions include selling alcohol to an underage person in December 2010 and a public nuisance offence in 2006.

Sergeant Marie White said:" I believe due to Mr Leather’s wide range of previous convictions, some relating to alcohol, he is not a suitable DPM.

"Mr Leather’s previous conviction of selling alcohol to underage persons most concerns me because it directly conflicts with the objective to protect children from harm.

"All of his criminal convictions show disregard for the law of the country and a number of them is a good indication of the person and character of Mr Leather."

Mr Leather obtained his licence in 2009 and said he "was a little bit naive" to practices when selling alcohol to an underage person, while in his first role as manager at a pub in Derby.

Sergeant White also highlighted incidents at the pub involving a fight between young people in June and July 2012, which raised concerns for Mr Leather to take up the role as manager.

Mr Leather was not employed at the pub, when these incidents occured.

She added: "Given the location of premises, it is even more imperative the DPM should be of good character and given the importance and high responsibility of this role, I do not believe Mr Leather’s history provides evidence that he is responsible to be left in charge of this premises.

"I am still unsure as to why Mr Leather obtained a licence in the first place."

The landlord of the pub, Mr Fenwick defended Mr Leather, describing him as "hard working" and "reliable".

Mr Fenwick said: "Mr Leather came top of the list and came highly recommended based on own performances in the past.

"He was completely honest with me and made me aware he had previous convictions, as much as he was legally obliged to.

"There have been no issues since Mr Leather has been running the pub and we are happy with Mr Leather and his abilities to do the job.

"He is more than capable and I am more than happy to back Mr Leather 100 percent."

He added he thought Mr Leather had learnt his lesson from his previous convictions.

On hearing the evidence before them, politicians made the decision to refuse the application on the basis it would undermine the crime and prevention objective and the prevention of children from harm.

Councillor Martin Trevett, chairman of the meeting, advised the application may have been premature and the pair should work to show a "longer, trouble-free time of employment."

On hearing the news, Mr Fenwick and Mr Leather said they would try to build a relationship with the police over a longer period, to prove Mr Leather is a responsible candidate.

Comments (6)

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6:55pm Wed 30 Jan 13

elvis78 says...

Played my first ever gig in this place when i was 17 haha. man it looks rough now. good gig though
Played my first ever gig in this place when i was 17 haha. man it looks rough now. good gig though elvis78
  • Score: 0

7:22pm Wed 30 Jan 13

Nascot says...

33 convictions. Say no more...
33 convictions. Say no more... Nascot
  • Score: 0

10:21pm Wed 30 Jan 13

Robert Peel says...

Sounds like a good place to get leathered.
Sounds like a good place to get leathered. Robert Peel
  • Score: 0

10:26pm Wed 30 Jan 13

LSC says...

Nascot wrote:
33 convictions. Say no more...
Oh be fair, everyone deserves a 34th chance...

33 convictions is ridiculous. Add to that the times he wasn't caught, the times he got a warning or caution and the times he got off for lack of evidence or legal issues like a witness not turning up.

Why is this man even on our streets, let alone considered for running a pub?
[quote][p][bold]Nascot[/bold] wrote: 33 convictions. Say no more...[/p][/quote]Oh be fair, everyone deserves a 34th chance... 33 convictions is ridiculous. Add to that the times he wasn't caught, the times he got a warning or caution and the times he got off for lack of evidence or legal issues like a witness not turning up. Why is this man even on our streets, let alone considered for running a pub? LSC
  • Score: 0

3:07am Thu 31 Jan 13

PhilippineOrn says...

I was told at a presentation at school about the dangers of drugs and alcohol that habitual drink drivers drive between 10 and 20 times for every time they get caught. On that basis he could have over 600 convictions.
I was told at a presentation at school about the dangers of drugs and alcohol that habitual drink drivers drive between 10 and 20 times for every time they get caught. On that basis he could have over 600 convictions. PhilippineOrn
  • Score: 0

3:11pm Thu 31 Jan 13

garston tony says...

There's giving someone another chance and their's someone being allowed to take the preverbial. 33 times in this instance.

Im not advocating three strikes and you're out but someone with 33 convictions should be spending more time in jail than out. In fact if there was proper punishment for crime this chap wouldnt have been out long enough to committ 33 crimes let alone all the others I agree he probably hasnt been caught for
There's giving someone another chance and their's someone being allowed to take the preverbial. 33 times in this instance. Im not advocating three strikes and you're out but someone with 33 convictions should be spending more time in jail than out. In fact if there was proper punishment for crime this chap wouldnt have been out long enough to committ 33 crimes let alone all the others I agree he probably hasnt been caught for garston tony
  • Score: 0

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