Thanet council to review licence of closed Falcon Inn pub

The Falcon Inn shut in November

A review of the premises licence for The Falcon Inn at Westwood is due to take place – despite the pub now being shut.

Kent Police requested the review saying there has been an increase in recorded crime at the site and highlighting an assault on an officer who was left with a broken eye socket.

The pub, formerly The Grog Wench, was taken over in July by new landlord Louis Mayhew. The Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS) was building owner Antonio Papa-Adams, then Kelsey Scott until she quit the role.

The DPS role then passed to Sandra Jackson, who was later revealed to be the pub’s cleaner.

Documents submitted to Thanet council’s licensing committee by Acting Chief Inspector Rhiannan Pepper list numerous calls to the pub between July and October this year.

On July 15 police were called after a BB gun was dumped in a flowerpot outside the pub premises.

The same day police were called to a disturbance of around 10 people who were “trying to force their way into the premises.” When police arrived, however, there was no disorder or damage and no offences were recorded.

On July 30 a brick was thrown through the pub window and when police attended they had to call for assistance as two males were “causing issues” inside.

Police officer assault

ACI Pepper said: “Both males were asked to leave by the staff and police officer. Both eventually left the premises but decided to stand outside and were refusing to leave the area. There were now 3 police officers repeatedly asking them to  leave the area in a non-threatening manner. It was at this point one of the males turned around to walk away. This male then turned towards PC Platt, completely unprovoked, and violently assaulted the officer by punching him with his right clenched fist full in the face.

“As a result PC Platt received a fractured cheek bone and eye socket. The male, who was drunk, had been drinking at the premises. He was arrested and charged with causing grievous bodily harm. PC Platt had to take significant time to recover from these horrific injuries.”

On August 10 police were called at 3.42am to people refusing to leave the bar and again later in the day when a man was arrested for being drunk and disorderly.

Issues were raised over after hours drinking by the police licensing officer.

Panic buttons

On August 31 police were again called to an incident where women were said to have been “dragged out of the premises by their hair.”  Panic buttons at the bar were also set off.

In September the licensing officer visited again and asked for details of staff roles but these were not provided.

The same month Ms Scott resigned as DPS but police say they suspect alcohol was still being sold on the premises that weekend. Three days later Ms Jackson took on the DPS role.

In October police were called to a report of a woman threatening to damage cars and assault staff. When police arrived no further allegations were made and she left.

The same month two people were arrested for GBH but no charges were brought as the victim did not support a prosecution. Police say the CCTV was turned off so there was no footage of the incident.

ACI Pepper said Mr Mayhew was treating the pub as “a private members drinking club” and that there were “alarming issues emulating from the premises.”

Noise complaints were also made by a resident about loud music in the garden playing until 1am at weekends.

Licence request

Kent Police requested a suspension of the licence for one month and then numerous conditions including the sale of alcohol to end at midnight and for Mr Mayhew to have no connection with running the premises.

But The Falcon Inn is already closed after Mr Mayhew gave up the pub in November. He said the venture had not turned a profit so he would be focusing on other businesses.

The licence hearing was due to be held on January 4 but has now been adjourned until January 30.

A Thanet council spokesman said: “The solicitor for the licence holder has asked for the hearing to be adjourned. The police have agreed to this. The hearing will be adjourned until January 30.”

‘Speculation’

Mr Mayhew disputes the report, saying many of the incidents took place outside, not inside, the premises. He said Mrs Jackson had never been the cleaner and was a well-known publican in Thanet.

He added: “I did everything I could to work with the police, installing CCTV, panic buttons, alarms. What they have said is mostly speculation, what they think rather than what actually happened. We did everything they asked for but the report made to the council has blown it all out of proportion.”

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