A WELL-KNOWN pub will be shut down after a damning catalogue of trouble.
Licensing chiefs in Southampton yesterday banned pub boss Raymond Bird from running the Dorchester Arms and revoked the premises licence meaning it will be closed in 21 days unless an appeal is lodged.
As exclusively reported by the Daily Echo last week, fears about how the Onslow Road pub was being run were first raised last year when a 20-person brawl broke out, with staff failing to calm tensions.
Police claimed the incident could have been prevented but Mr Bird failed to step up, instead allowing one of the offenders to leave who then had to be traced and arrested by police.
Other issues included residents complaining about music and door staff not having the correct licences at the Enterprise Inns owned pub.
Hampshire police also claimed that Mr Bird had lied to officers when they tried to contact a member of his staff.
Just last week, Mr Bird contacted the Daily Echo following the publication of the police report into problems at his bar, to reveal he was quitting.
But yesterday as he appeared before city council licensing bosses he denied ever making the comments as he made a last ditch bid to stay as landlord.
The committee heard from PC Jackie Cherry, representing Hampshire police, who said that Mr Bird was “not responsible” or “trustworthy” and his behaviour “undermined” licensing objectives.
She told the hearing: “As recently as May this year two large groups of Asian males were squaring off outside the pub and although on this occasion it did not come to anything, it proves that there’s still tension in the area.”
It was revealed at the meeting that there had been an ongoing dispute between Mr Bird and Enterprise Inns, with the landlord claiming he was receiving inadequate support from the owners – a claim they denied.
Mr Bird told the hearing that he had gone “above and beyond” in his work at the pub and was now concerned about fellow staff.
But he acknowledged errors in the way he had run the establishment, and added: “There have been mistakes made and they are rookie mistakes.”
Councillor Matt Tucker, sub-committee chairman, said: “The panel is concerned that there have been numerous failures. Mr Bird has been removed as licence holder and also the panel has removed the premises licence.”