Bar threatened with closure over cocaine wins licence back on appeal

Posted On 14 May 2021 at 3:48 pm

A bar which had its licence revoked after high levels of cocaine were found in its toilets has won it back on appeal.

The Gin Tub in Church Road, Hove, lost its alcohol licence in December 2019 after failing three drug swab tests carried out by police over three months.

However, after lodging an appeal within 21 days it was able to carry on operating as usual pending that being heard.

Meanwhile, owner Justine Guille negotiated with the council and came to an agreement by March last year – but the hearing was delayed because of the pandemic.

At a hearing at Brighton Magistrates Court on 30 April, the appeal was formally allowed – subject to the manager being replaced and a raft of other conditions.

These include telling police every month if any drugs had been seized so they can be collected and destroyed.

The venue also has to ban anyone found with drugs, altering the design of the interior to “design out drugs” using methods such as sloped shelving and UV lights, regular swab testing, random searches, toilet checks and signs stating the venue has a zero tolerance drugs policy.

No costs order was made.

A council spokesperson said: “This judgement formalises and brings to an end a good deal of work we have done behind the scenes with the applicant and the police to enable the venue to reopen safely.

“This has involved placing some tough new conditions on the venue.

“The consent order for this was sent to the court in March 2020, but the hearing was delayed. We understand this was due to the pandemic.”

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