THE licence of a popular Carlisle pub is set to be revoked.

Cumbria Constabulary had requested Carlisle City Council review the licence of the Cumberland Inn on Botchergate due to concerns police had about 'safety of the public and staff'.

Police said the application was also in relation to the management of the pub – claiming that it was 'inadequate', 'unprofessional' and had left 'customers and staff at risk of harm'.

The council's licensing sub-committee met yesterday to consider the application and decided to revoke the licence.

Councillor Marilyn Bowman, who was chairing the meeting, said: "Members [of the panel] considered the option of modifying the conditions of the licence, in particular, addressing opening hours, adding a specific number of door staff and removing the playing of music.

"However, we did not feel that these would adequately address the issues because we have no confidence, due to the history [of the pub], that these conditions will be complied with.

"We considered the option of suspending the licence, but felt that due to the seriousness of the breach of the licensing objectives and the potential consequences to public safety, crime and disorder that this was not a sufficient measure to address the severity of the problems."

The review application detailed 28 incidents since July 2020 – noting that the period included two national lockdowns due to Covid-19 'when the premises was not permitted to open to the public'.

The details of a number of incidents were given at the meeting, including the breaching of lockdown restrictions, a fight and an assault on members of staff.

A video found on social media and played at the review showed people dancing in the pub – some with their shirts off – at a time when Covid-19 restrictions did not permit dancing in premises and only allowed table service.

On October 17 last year, a police evidence gathering team had also captured further Covid-19 breaches when customers were being served at the bar while it was supposed to be table service only.

On November 16 last year, a fixed penalty notice was served on the pub's leaseholder, Gholamreza Mohtashami, by Environmental Health for failure to comply with the requirements of Tier 1 restrictions. A payment was made.

A number of staff members had also raised concerns about Mr Mohtashami, saying that the management of the pub had put them and members of the public at risk.

On June 26, Mr Mohtashami was said to have allowed a rowdy group back into the premises after they were asked to leave.

A fight involving the rowdy group later broke out in the pub's foyer and members of staff had to intervene.

Jon Payne, who was representing Mr Mohtashami at the review, argued that the incident relating to the fight that broke out in the pub's foyer was responded to 'quite quickly' and said that a number of investments had been made into improving the way incidents at the pub were dealt with.

Referring to the CCTV video of the fight that was shown at the review, Mr Payne said: "You can see from the video that the individuals are squaring up [as they] walk towards each other.

"That was a matter of seconds before the fight broke out and it was a matter of seconds before it was stopped."

To the allegation that he had allowed the rowdy group back into the pub against the wishes of his staff, Mr Mohtashami said: "[That] I went outside and [brought] them back [inside] is not true.

"I did not bring anyone who was causing trouble back into my premises."