Former pub landlord sentenced for health and safety offences
PUBLISHED: 10:06 28 May 2019 | UPDATED: 10:06 28 May 2019
A former landlord of a Colchester pub has been successfully prosecuted and fined for failing to undertake noise at work risk assessments as part of a crackdown by the borough council.
Colin Smith, 52, the former landlord of The Bull in Crouch Street, a popular pub and gig venue in the town, was found guilty at Chelmsford Magistrates' Court in his absence on September 6 last year.
According to Colchester Borough Council, which brought the prosecution, Smith was first asked for a copy of the pub's noise at work assessments in May 2017.
The pub had been approached as part of an ongoing campaign by the council raising the issue of damaging noise at work at music venues around the borough.
Months later, after the paperwork had not materialised, an Improvement Notice was served by the council under the Health and Safety Work Act of 1974.
Smith eventually turned over the paperwork, but it was found to be incomplete and missing key pieces of information.
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Officers from the council contacted Smith to see if they could get hold of the missing information but it was not provided.
Smith was sentenced by magistrates in Chelmsford on Thursday, May 23. He was fined £240 and made to pay a £30 victim surcharge while the council was awarded full court costs of £6432.74.
In mitigation, Smith, who represented himself, told the court his business had failed after two years of trying, that he had no home and was currently staying in his partner's mother's caravan on Canvey Island.
Councillor Mike Lilley, cabinet member for communities, wellbeing and public safety, said the prosecution could have been avoided if Smith had engaged with officers.
He said: "Excessive noise at work can cause permanent, severe hearing loss and tinnitus, prevent people hearing warnings, and increase stress.
"We expect businesses to take all aspects of health and safety seriously and to keep appropriate records.
"This case could have been avoided if the venue had engaged with officers and met their duties as an employer.
"We always take action when an Improvement Notice is not complied with."