Ex-landlord rapped for lock-in at Fife pub at height of lockdown

The former landlord of a Dunfermline pub has been reprimanded after hosting a lock-in during Scotland's first wave of coronavirus.

Thursday, 24th June 2021, 10:58 am

Police said Joseph Graham gave the impression officers were "inconveniencing" him when they visited Tappie Toories on the Kirkgate in the early hours of November 12 2020.

He is no longer involved with Tappie Toories, having sold it to new owners earlier this year.

Sergeant Neil Ewing, Police Scotland licensing representative, told Fife Licensing Board that the lock-in took place at the peak of the first wave of Covid-19 in Scotland, when licensed premises were required by law to be shut. Restrictions were not lifted on pubs until July.

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Tappie Toorie pub in Dunfermline
Tappie Toorie pub in Dunfermline

Sgt Ewing told the Fife House meeting: "At 9pm on May 12, police received reports of a number of people in a lock-in at Tappie Toories, Dunfermline.

"At 1am on the 13th officers entered and observed a number of people drinking and empty glasses on tables. People were clearly under the influence of alcohol.

"Joseph Graham identified himself as the responsible person and officers formed the opinion he was intoxicated.

"He claimed all those people were helping him tidy up. It was obvious the premises was not cashed up for the evening.

"He was charged with culpable reckless conduct, and continued drinking from a can of lager. He showed no remorse, and gave the impression he felt officers were inconveniencing him."

As part of their visit, officers had requested CCTV footage when they investigated the lock-in but Mr Graham claimed he could not provide it.

Since the visit last year Tappie Toories has been ordered to install a new CCTV system that can easily be accessed by visiting inspectors.

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Sgt Ewing added: "There's no doubt hospitality has been affected throughout [the pandemic], but the restrictions are there for a reason and every licensed premises must play a part," he added.

Howe of Fife and Tay Coast Conservative councillor Andy Heer put forward a motion to endorse his personal licence, seconded by Kirkcaldy East Labour rep, Ian Cameron.

East Neuk and Landward SNP councillor John Docherty moved to suspend Graham's personal licence, but failed to find a seconder.

Mr Graham has been contacted for comment.

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