Heartbroken to be removed from pub’

JAMES Lumley and I ended our relationship on October 4, 2005 ( Pubs close following investigation, April 11). From that day onward he has never lived or worked here at The Wrestlers. Mr Lumley never worked in any capacity at The Kings Head during the tim

JAMES Lumley and I ended our relationship on October 4, 2005 ("Pubs close following investigation," April 11). From that day onward he has never lived or worked here at The Wrestlers.

Mr Lumley never worked in any capacity at The Kings Head during the time we ran The Wrestlers together from December 8, 2004.

Mr Lumley was the DPS here at The Wrestlers and, as a result of our own misunderstanding of the new licensing law, we failed to have him removed once we had separated. In theory, since the day he left I have acted as the DPS. At all times since then there has been a licensed person on the premises.

Mr Lumley and I have only ever been involved with running The Wrestlers since we took it on. We never had anything to do with the running of The Kings Head.

I am devastated that the CID involved with the "sting" was able to purchase drugs on seven occasions, from two separate drug dealers, amounting to four grammes of cocaine over two months. There was never ever anything else purchased in The Wrestlers or any other activity that the police found unacceptable here.

Immediately I discovered the incidents I took action. I installed door staff from out of town, who, working with me, installed a stricter drugs policy, more procedures and spot check searches.

Most Read

I have never and would never tolerate the selling, purchasing or consuming of drugs on my premises.

The incident of the "serious assault" happened when two licensed assistant managers were present and working. The police were called immediately and we have worked closely with them to ensure that the situation was dealt with accordingly. CCTV footage was supplied, statements given and both assistant managers attended the court hearing in which the person directing the assault was given 200 hours community service and fined £500. I feel that we did everything that should have been done involving this incident.

I am heart-broken to have been removed from a pub that I have built up and put my heart into. I feel that I have done everything that I could have done to ensure that this behaviour is dealt with and do not feel it is fair to be used as a scapegoat in this way.

I have only ever tried to make The Wrestlers a community pub and live music venue, encouraging local young musicians to have a platform to showcase and pursue their talents. There has always been a good atmosphere in here and we have only ever had one incident of a fight.

JOANNE HUGHES, The Wrestlers Inn, New Street, St Neots

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter