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Landlords were “naive” about Lusty Pirate event

Landlords were “naive” about Lusty Pirate event

Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 4:32pm 7th October 2019. (Updated at 7:38am 8th October 2019)

By Richard Whitehouse, Local Democracy Reporter

A restaurateur couple have admitted that they were naive in hosting a DJ event which spilled into teenage violence.

Two people were seriously injured after an event at the Lusty Pirate in September saw more than 100 underage drinkers gather outside the venue.

The incident has led to St Austell Bay Parish Council calling for a review of the venue’s licence and today it held an extraordinary meeting to discuss the incident.

Sharon and David Parker, who run the Lusty Pirate, attended the meeting and addressed the packed village hall about the events.

“There is a problem with the licence. I am very concerned about this event. I am concerned about the target audience of that event.

“My comments to Sharon and David at this point I feel it is naive to offer an event like that without considerable organisation and not being aware of the problems that could occur.”

Parish council chairman Bill Leach

Parish councillors have highlighted that an event by the same DJ earlier in the summer at the nearby Rashleigh Arms had also resulted in “trouble”.

Mr and Mrs Parker, who had been on holiday at the time of the incident, admitted they had been “naive” but had no reason to believe that there would be any problems when they organised the event.

Mrs Parker said she had been recommended the DJ from people who had seen him play at other events including Fowey Regatta. She said they did not know what had happened at the Rashleigh and if they did they would have cancelled the event.

They explained that all of the underage drinkers had brought drinks into Charlestown and none had been supplied alcohol by the Lusty Pirate.

The couple said they were now looking to apply for a new licence which would set out clear conditions for holding events at the venue.

The parish council meeting heard that there were issues with the current licence which meant that it was “not fit for purpose” and some parts of the venue were not covered by it.

Mr Parker said he had only seen a plan for the existing licence last week which showed that a “terrace area is completely unlicenced”.

But parish councillors were highly critical of the couple’s handling of the event.

“It is your responsibility to check the licence, that is really the first port of call.”

Parish councillor Sue Osbrink

She also suggested it was probably not the best time for the couple to have gone on holiday and said they should have done more research before hosting the event.

Councillor Sue Leach said she agreed with the comment about research and had Googled the DJ after the event and found he had played events in Ibiza which she felt meant he would attract a large number of people.

She also said Fowey Regatta makes Fowey a “no-go area” and that the fact he had played there should have been a warning.

Referring to the incident she added that they should have had “more staff, security and alerted the police”.

“The minute that staff knew of this problem they should have dialled 999 and pulled the plug on the music.”

Sue Osbrink

Mr Parker explained that since the incident they had had to cancel two events which had been booked at the venue and had a number of Christmas parties and private parties already booked.

Council chairman Bill Leach said the council would wait for Cornwall Council to review the licence and that the Lusty Pirate should apply for temporary event notices to hold its other events.

Councillor Leach asked the Parkers:

“Most of the member of the public are most concerned about is that there won’t be a repeat of this. How will you guarantee that it is not going to happen again?”

Mrs Parker said they would have no issue with providing security at the venue for future events. The couple also said their new draft licence would restrict the times that music events can be held.

She added:

“But I can’t guarantee that you won’t get hordes of youths drinking alcohol around Charlestown.”

Comments about the Lusty Pirate licence review can be submitted to Cornwall Council until October 18. It is believed the review will be heard by the council’s licensing committee next month.

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