STAVELEY: “We feel police have set us up”

NDET 8-1-13 RKH 8 Keith Bannister,Trevor Davies and David Bannister from Beechers Brook pub Staveley, at odds with police.

NDET 8-1-13 RKH 8 Keith Bannister,Trevor Davies and David Bannister from Beechers Brook pub Staveley, at odds with police.

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A landlord has sent out a warning to pub owners after he claims he was “wrongly accused” of serving underage drinkers.

David Bannister, who runs Beechers Brook in Staveley, faced an £80 fine and black-mark against his pub after police said he had failed a test purchase.

But when he later questioned officers about the offence, the description of the person who served the teen did not fit any of the pub’s staff and there was no record of the drinks on the pub’s till roll.

David’s dad Keith Bannister, who runs Harleys Bar in Staveley, said: “We do feel the police have deliberately targeted us as a family – it’s a stitch up.”

“How many other places have been wrongly done by the police? David would be facing a fine if he hadn’t questioned them about it.”

Mr Bannister, 59, has also criticised cops for not acting quickly enough to deal with town yobs after a man was stabbed in the arm outside his pub following a fight on New Year’s eve.

He called officers three times to report nuisance behaviour but police did not attend until over two hours later - after a man phoned to say he had been assaulted.

“Staveley is the forgotten town when it comes to crime and disorder,” he added.

Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins said he would be meeting police to discuss Mr Bannister’s concerns.

He added: “There were three different reports of known trouble-makers and not one visit and then someone got stabbed. People are going to be very concerned about that indeed .”

POLICE said when a pub has failed a test purchase officers re-enter the premises to discuss the underage sale and confirm the identity of the staff member. However due to a high number of calls on the night in question, the licensee of the Beechers Brook was not informed about the test purchase immediately.

He was invited to speak to licensing officers later and his account differed from that of the young volunteer.

A police spokeswoman said: “A decision was taken by the licensing inspector to cancel the fixed penalty notice.”

She added on New Year’s eve officers were dealing with a high number of calls so were unable to attend the pub immediately.