Rebuke for publican who slapped barred customer

The Woodcutter in Langlee, Galashiels.
The Woodcutter in Langlee, Galashiels.
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A pub manager has had his personal licence endorsed after conceding he was stupid to slap a man on the head outside his premises.

But Alan Turnbull of the Woodcutter in Galashiels has denied the attack was unprovoked and taken issue with a police account of the incident.

He was called to a hearing of the Scottish Borders Licensing Board after Chief Inspector Paula Clark requested a review of his licence.

In a letter, she claimed Mr Turnbull had been on duty at about 10pm on May 4 when he emerged from the pub and, she claimed, launched an unprovoked attack. She said Mr Turnbull had punched the victim who reported the alleged assault to the police.

Although a report was sent to the procurator fiscal, the case did not go to court and Mr Turnbull accepted a fiscal fine.

But Chief Inspector Clark said there were substantiated grounds for the board to review his licence.

Mr Turnbull told the board he had not been on duty and that the incident occurred shortly after he came off shift at 5pm and was standing outside chatting. He claimed the man, who was barred from the pub, had tried to gain entry and been refused.

He said: “As he passed me he took a swing which caught me a glancing blow and I followed him for a few steps and gave him a slap on the head, I immediately realised I had done something stupid, but I was not aggressive and it was certainly not a punch.”

Mr Turnbull said he accepted the £100 fiscal fine to avoid the cost of going to court and in the knowledge he would have no criminal conviction. He accepted he should have called the police.

Endorsement is the mildest saction available.