A Fraserburgh publican caught “heavily under the influence” in his own bar has had his personal licence endorsed.
Last July, Mark Forsyth, owner of the Bellslea Bar, had been enjoying a few drinks while watching the World Cup Final and the Wimbledon mens’ tennis final in other licensed premises.
But on his way home he decided to pop into the Bellslea when a totally separate incident arose which led to the police being called.
When someone was denied access to the bar, officers had cause to attend on two separate occasions – on the second Mr Forsyth was found and considered by them to be “heavily under the influence” and was later cautioned and charged under the Licensing Scotland Act.
Aberdeenshire North Licensing Board heard that the Procurator Fiscal had disposed of the charges brought against Mr Forsyth by way of a warning.
An agent for Mr Forsyth said that disposal put the incident into “some form of context”, but a representative of the Chief Constable asked the board to consider imposing an endorsement on his licence as he was both the holder of a personal licence and, at the time, the designated premises manager.
The board heard that there had been no evidence of “public nuisance” during the incident nor had their been any issue over Mr Forsyth’s behaviour.
The agent said that given this was an “isolated incident” and that Mr Forsyth had held a licence for a considerable period of time, he felt the board should take no action.
Reflecting on the incident, Mr Forsyth said he had had no intention of staying long at the Bellslea and indeed did not stay long. He also stressed that he had been preparing to transfer the licence to his son as he had generally not been spending as much time on the premises as he should.
Board member Anne Stirling proposed endorsing Mr Forsyth’s personal licence having concurred with the Chief Constable that he could well have been called into action and may have failed to deal with the situation.
Chairman Brian Topping suggested this had been a “wake-up call” for the licensee and proposed no action, but failed to get a seconder.
Mr Forsyth’s licence was endorsed by a majority verdict for a period of five years.