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APPEAL: Porky Pint owner first court appearance

APPEAL: Porky Pint owner first court appearance

The Porky Pint in Billingham, Image: Teesside Live

The owner of The Porky Pint in Billingham has made his first court appearance as part of his appeal to reverse Stockton Council’s decision to strip his pub of its license.

Pub owner Paul Henderson appeared at Teesside Magistrates Court on Tuesday, October 12 to appeal the council’s decision to revoke his licence after it opened in January as part of the ‘Great Reopening’ protest against Covid measures.

A case management hearing has been set for December 9 before a judge where Mr Henderson will be expected to bring a list of the witnesses he would like to call from Stockton Council, Cleveland Police, and his own witnesses.

Mr Henderson said there would be ‘at least 10 additional witnesses’ who he would like to call to speak.

The pub, which is on Mill Lane, was previously represented by Philip Kolvin QC but Mr Henderson will now be representing himself.

Natalie Hodgson, representing the council, asked for the expected list of witnesses, from Mr Henderson, by December 3 so that that council would have time to prepare for the hearing.

Mr Henderson has set up a fundraising effort on CrowdJustice called Save Our Bacon, And Our Country Too, it has raised more than £5,000 has been pledged to fight the legal case so far.

A Stockton Council committee hearing in July, which revoked the license, heard that The Porky Pint had told the authorities that it would be opening ahead of January 30.

However, a Covid lockdown had been announced on January 4 and pubs were expected to close.

The pub was visited by council and police teams in January 2021, where customers were found drinking inside.

It was also checked on June 22 and Mr Henderson was spotted not wearing a mask when they were still mandatory for staff in hospitality venues, unless you were exempt.

The Porky Pint owner has previously said that he was prepared to appeal ‘as high as they could go for as long as they could’ if this initial appeal was not successful.

 

Words: Emily Craigie, Local Democracy Reporter


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