Publican convicted of obstructing police officers

Gavel and scales
Gavel and scales
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A Clitheroe publican has been convicted of obstructing police officers who were making a routine check on her premises.

And while the magistrates accepted that Beverley Louise Knight had been abusive towards officers who attended the Keystreet pub they ruled it had not been sufficient to make out a public order offence.

Knight (48), of Lowergate, Clitheroe, pleaded not guilty to obstructing authorised officers exercising right of entry to the pub and using threatening behaviour. She was convicted of the first offence and acquitted of the second. Knight was given a conditional discharge for 12 months and ordered to pay £300 costs and £15 victim surcharge.

The court heard police went to carry out a routine licensed premises inspection in the early hours of July 12th. They had completed three similar visits to pubs in the area that night without incident. When the officers went to the door at Keystreet a bouncer said they couldn’t come in unless Bev said they could. Mrs Knight came to the door and an officer explained to her why they wanted to come in and what authority they had. Another officer then said they had a legal right to enter the pub and eased Knight, who was blocking the door, to one side.

Four officers entered the pub and carried out a brief inspection during which they claimed Knight was shouting abuse at them and the atmosphere became very hostile. When the officers left they said Knight followed them out and was shouting further obscenities across the road. One of the officers said he could smell alcohol on Knight, but she told the court she had not had a drink for 16 years.

Knight told the court her husband was the designated premises supervisor, but she had the personal licence and ran the pub. “I saw a number of officers and I was worried there was something wrong,” said Knight. She claimed she had not refused the officers entry, but was asking why they were there. She claimed an officer pushed past her, forcing her against a door, but denied following them into the pub and shouting abuse at them. She later made a complaint of assault against the police and said in court she believed this was why the charges had been brought against her.