Landlord cleared of smoke breach
January 21, 2008
A former pub landlord has been found not guilty of breaching Britain’s anti- smoking laws.
In the first case of its kind in Gloucestershire, Andy Hemming had been charged with failing to prevent someone from smoking in his pub.
In September a smoke-free liaison officer saw Mr Hemming’s girlfriend light up at the Black Horse in Stroud.
Mr Hemming said he asked her to go upstairs immediately and magistrates accepted this and acquitted him.
He told BBC News: “I asked her to stop straightaway and told her to go upstairs because we had people in and that was it.”
At Cheltenham Magistrates Court on Monday, smoke-free liaison officer Tim Dowan said he never heard Mr Hemming speak to his girlfriend and said he saw full ashtrays on tables and could smell smoke.
But it was claimed the ashtrays had been brought inside from the garden.
Magistrates said it could not be proved beyond reasonable doubt that Mr Hemming had not asked his girlfriend to stop smoking and found him not guilty.
Afterwards, Mr Hemming said: “I am delighted common sense has prevailed and obviously I have applied for some defence costs because we have done a lot of work to answer these charges.”