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Opening hours cut after Barking pub assaults

PUBLISHED: 11:59 23 October 2015 | UPDATED: 13:22 23 October 2015

The Thatched House, Ripple Road, Barking

The Thatched House, Ripple Road, Barking

Archant

A spate of thuggery at a popular pub could result in its opening hours being permanently cut after police demanded an emergency review of the premises.

Facial stabbing and poison-throwing by punters at The Thatched House in Barking are among the recent incidents leading to a temporary reduction of licensing hours, councillors decided on Thursday.

As well as bringing forward the closing time from 4am to 1am, other measures include a reassessment of the security team and CCTV at the full review, which is due to take place in the next three weeks.

But owner of the Ripple Road boozer, Paul Njoroge, said the incidents since August this year were isolated “mad days”.

“The last few days can only be described as mad days, something that happened,” he said. “You can be a good driver for many years and one night someone can crash into you and there’s nothing you can do about it.”

Mr Njoroge said that since a licensing review in 2007, the bar hadn’t experienced any trouble with the police, and had gradually increased its opening hours until 4am at weekends.

“At The Thatched House we never get that many customers during the day,” said Mr Njoroge, adding that they relied on customers in the early hours of the morning for their livelihood.

The owner also defended reports of lax security, saying he had increased his team to up to 15 guards at night.

But licensing sub-committee member Cllr Peter Chand said he was evading the real issues at hand.

“This meeting is an emergency meeting,” he said.

“This is your chance to convince us that there has been a very important and major event, and I don’t think you have acknowledged that.

“We are here to review your licence, not to review the police. We always respect what the police is telling us – I don’t have time for your excuses.”

The interim measures will mean the premises has to stop serving alcohol at 2am on weekdays, 3am on Thursdays and 4am at weekends.

What do you think should happen to the pub? Email postnewsdesk@archant.co.uk with your views.

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