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Thomas a Becket pub up for sale after licence is revoked

London SE1 website team

The historic Thomas a Becket pub on Old Kent Road is up for sale after Southwark councillors voted to revoke its licence.

Thomas a Becket pub up for sale after licence is revoked
Thomas a Becket pub up for sale after licence is revoked
The pub with no booze ... the Thomas a Becket displayed this notice after its licence was suspended

The venue's licence has been suspended for the past month but last week a Southwark licensing sub-committee resolved that the licence should be revoked permanently.

The licence review was triggered by the Metropolitan Police after a "serious assault" at the Thomas a Becket on 7 February.

According to police, the victim was slashed in the side of the neck with a broken bottle during an altercation.

The victim suffered serious neck injuries and medical staff informed the police that the bottle nearly hit a major artery and the assault could have proved fatal.

In their submission to the council, police said that the Thomas a Becket had failed to adhere to the conditions of its licence, including a prohibition on entry after 2am and a requirement for the use of ID scanning equipment.

According to the licensing sub-committee's decision notice, "... the premises had failed to preserve the crime scene, and failed to contact the emergency services and obstructed the police from entering. The police were only able to gain access once the ambulance service had arrived. The ambulance service had been called by a member of the public.

"The police also referred to nine other incidents of violence that had taken place at the premises in the past year. The commonality of these incidents was that the parties involved were heavily intoxicated, demonstrating the fact that there was no responsible sale of alcohol policy at the premises."

The sub-committee heard from two local residents who described late-night noise and other nuisance from customers at the Thomas a Becket.

The meeting was also addressed by representatives of the Thomas a Becket who said that if the licence was retained, the venue would take a new direction and become more family-orientated with a greater emphasis on food.

Whilst the alcohol licence has been suspended the venue has remained open serving food and soft drinks.

Following last week's decision, the Thomas a Becket has now closed and the pub leasehold is up for sale with an annual rent of £55,000.

The current pub building dates from 1898 but this part of Old Kent Road has been known as a watering hole for travellers for many centuries, and is mentioned in Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales.

The building carries a blue plaque commemorating boxer Henry Cooper's connections with the pub.

In 2013 Simon Hughes MP hosted an event at the pub with Theo Paphitis to launch a plan by local Liberal Democrats to revive Southwark's high streets.

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