Northern Ireland

Dungiven pub death alerted police to lock-in

Barman pulling pint Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption Till receipts showed the bar was still serving just before 5am

A sudden death at a pub in County Londonderry alerted police to alcohol being served hours after closing time, a court has heard.

Paramedics were called to attend a sudden death at Joe's Bar in Dungiven at 06:00 BST on 6 October 2014, Limavady Magistrates Court was told.

Police arriving a short time later found several people still at the bar.

Till receipts showed alcohol was being served as late as 04:49 BST. The judge ordered its closure for three months.

'Appalling record'

Colleen O'Neill, 43, of Kevin Lynch Park in the town, was charged with two counts of allowing the consumption of liquor outside licensing hours.

James Thomas, 44, of the same address, faced one count of the same charge.

A defence solicitor told the court that the licensing laws in Dungiven "were not strictly adhered to".

He said it was clear that the premises had not been run in a proper manner and had been running well into the morning.

The judge said Ms O'Neill, who is the license holder, had "an appalling record" and expressed concern that he did not have power to impose a custodial sentence.

"This was as bad a case as I have come across and as bad a record," he said.

Ms O'Neill was also fined £3,000, while Mr Thomas was fined £1,000.

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