A PUB landlord says a major threat to the future of Pubwatch schemes has been averted by a decision in the High Court.
Frank Marnell, of The Watergate Inn, is chairman of Chester Pubwatch whose members can ban individuals from entering their licensed premises if there is evidence they have caused trouble.
Last week High Court judge Mr Ockelton QC denied pub customer Matthew Proud the chance to launch a judicial review over a Pubwatch ban on him entering licensed premises in Buckingham.
If Mr Proud had been successful it could have thrown the whole basis of the Pubwatch initiative into jeopardy.
Mr Marnell, who is assistant secretary of national Pubwatch and secretary of Chester Licensed Victuallers Association, said: “What gives someone the right to go out and disrupt people in public houses who are enjoying their leisure time. Whenever there is an argument or a fight in a pub you normally turn round and say ‘I’m not going back there, it’s too much hassle’, so you lose trade.”
He added: “The idea of Pubwatch is to back up the staff.”
Mr Marnell said a landlord had the right to refuse anyone entry provided it was not on grounds of discrimination due to, for example, a person’s race or a disability.
He said prior to the High Court decision some Pubwatch members in small villages in North Wales had been threatened by relatives of banned individuals who had felt emboldened by the legal challenge.
“One comment made to one of my members was that they were going to take their house off them,” said Mr Marnell, who said Pubwatch groups should have insurance to pay for professional advice in the event of any legal issues arising.