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Irish pub faces loss of alcohol licence following underage drinking
1:20pm Tuesday 8th July 2014 in News
An Irish pub faces having its licence suspended after serving under-age customers.
Management at Molly Malone’s have had review application papers served on them by Sussex Police after two 17-year-olds were served at the bar in West Street, Brighton.
The undercover police operation was carried out after concerns were raised with Sussex Police’s licensing officers, including the arrest of an underage customer in the bar just a week before.
The review accuses the premises’ licence holders, Brighton-based Indigo, of failing to protect children from harm and failing to prevent crime and disorder.
Indigo also owns 17 other leading pubs and bars in the city.
A boy and a girl, both aged 17, were allowed into the West Street pub at 20.40pm on Sunday, May 16 despite not having ID.
The bar runs a Challenge 21 policy requiring staff to ask for ID when customers look younger than 21.
When the door staff were told the girl did not have any ID, one member of staff is reported as saying: “‘Go on then, I’ll let you in this time.”
The teenage boy went in unchallenged without any request to see ID.
The operation follows recent incidents including a claim of sexual assault by a woman in the pub.
Police said they arrested a man but the case was dropped after management failed to hand over CCTV.
On Sunday, May 4, a group of underage drinkers were allowed into the pub.
Door staff explained to police that the teenager had been allowed in to use the toilet.
A week later, a 17-year-old youth was held by staff and arrested by police on suspicion of the theft of a handbag.
The licensees will now be called before a Brighton and Hove City Council licence hearing.
A member of staff at Molly Malone’s said the firm would not be commenting ahead of the review.