Nottingham

Mansfield pubs face suspension after man's death

William IV pub
Image caption James Sheppard was attacked nearby

Two Nottinghamshire pubs face temporary closure after serving a 15-year-old who later killed a man nearby.

The William IV in Sutton Road and Bold Forester in Botany Avenue, Mansfield, served a group of youths prior to the attack on James Sheppard last July.

Suspending their licences, the district council said pubs had an obligation to check customers' ages.

The pubs face eight and six week suspensions respectively but have three weeks to appeal.

Mr Sheppard, 54, died after being attacked on a bench outside the town's Community Hospital.

The council said witnesses had verified the group had been drinking for several hours and were "visibly drunk".

The youth will be sentenced in July after admitting manslaughter.

Councillor Mick Barton, chairman of the council's licensing committee, said: "Although neither of the pubs could have foreseen the terrible events which followed the boys drinking on their premises, the fact remains they both failed in their duty as licensees."

He added: "With the World Cup upon us and local bars expected to be extremely busy, I would urge all licensed premises to learn the lessons of this case. It should serve as a warning that we will come down very hard on any licensees who fall short of the high standards we demand of them."

If neither pub appeals, the suspensions will begin at the end of the month. Extra conditions will also be placed on their licences.

Two 16-year-olds were given 12-month supervision orders in March after they pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm in connection with the attack.

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