Couple who sold alcohol without a licence at pub near Lancaster are now being evicted
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An eviction notice posted on the door at The Punch Bowl said: “Notice of eviction: Douglas Traynor and all other occupiers, Punch Bowl Hotel, Lower Bentham, Lancaster.
"The eviction will take place on November 23 at 11am. You should arrange to leave the property (land) with your belongings before this date and time."
The case involving Douglas and Shanti Traynor at The Punch Bowl, in Low Bentham, has been going on since the summer of 2022, when Craven Council obtained a closure order for the pub after they were caught selling alcohol without a valid premises licence.
The closure order, which is believed to be the first of its kind to a licenced premise in Craven, was granted after alcohol continued to be sold, despite service of a Closure Notice, which warned that no licence for the sale of alcohol was in place at the premises.
The couple and their adult son remained in the property to run a campsite and food service, despite the building’s owner, Mark Dew, starting eviction proceedings against them in the civil courts.
In January 2023, the pair, aged 72 and 52, were found guilty of offences under the Licensing Act at Harrogate Magistrates Court following a trial in which they represented themselves.
They denied three charges relating to the unauthorised sale of alcohol, and accused both the council and the court of losing important documents that could prove their innocence.
The court was told that council licensing officers had been investigating the Traynors since 2020, as The Punch Bowl’s alcohol licence had not been transferred to them when
they took on the lease and a Designated Premises Supervisor had not been appointed.
Neither had completed DPS training. Applications they made were deemed invalid and they did not have the consent of Mr Dew to take over the licence.
After the licence had been revoked, a ‘test purchase’ was carried out by the council and alcohol was sold to officers.
A large amount of liquor was confiscated by police and the closure order was granted.
They were fined £632, but did not accept their convictions and immediately told the bench that they would challenge the ruling, despite being warned that they could incur significant costs if the court’s decision was upheld.
Their appeal was due to be heard at Bradford Crown Court on October 3, but the court confirmed that their application was withdrawn and the case considered closed.
The same day, photographs taken by the Scottish press showed the couple after they had been evicted from The Shore in Carronshore, near Falkirk, a bar and restaurant that they had taken on a tenancy for but been given notice to quit by the owner when she became suspicious of their past.
They are believed to have left their son running the campsite in Low Bentham.
Douglas Traynor was also due to appear again at Harrogate Magistrates Court in late October to face further charges relating to alcohol sales.