WISBECH: Former pub landllord branded a conman by his own solicitor in court today
THE former landlord of the Bowling Green pub in Wisbech – branded a conman by his own solicitor in court today – has been given an eight month suspended jail sentence. Stephen Knight, who walked out of the pub back in February, had admitted two charges of
THE former landlord of the Bowling Green pub in Wisbech - branded a conman by his own solicitor in court today - has been given an eight month suspended jail sentence.
Stephen Knight, who walked out of the pub back in February, had admitted two charges of fraud, along with stealing a £1,100 television he leased at the pub.
When he applied to become the landlord last year, 41-year-old Knight, had failed to tell either Elgoods Brewery or Fenland District Council that he had a criminal record and had been to jail in 2006; and also kept quiet about his former name, Stephen Hurry.
He asked Fenland magistrates to take two other offences into consideration, the theft of a leased refrigerator and a £1,542 drinks machine he sold to get some cash; and failing to disclose his past when he made an earlier unsuccessful application to the council for a liquor licence.
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Solicitor Tim Bartlam said Knight changed his name when he came out of prison.
"He acted as a conman when he said I am not Stephen Hurry, I am Stephen Knight. There was a certain amount of desperation," he said.
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Knight, who now lives in Skegness, paid £13,500 to Elgoods when he took the tenancy, and spent other money leasing various items.
"He could not pay for the beer, the debt increased and he got into difficulties," said Mr Bartlam. "He panicked and left the premises."
Knight still works in the licensed trade, overseeing pubs between Skegness and Hunstanton.
The magistrates forfeited Knight's personal liquor licence and ordered him to carry out 180 hours of unpaid work.
After the hearing, principal licensing officer with Fenland District Council, Lin Bagwell, said she was pleased that Knight had lost his licence.
Trade director with Elgoods, Terry Stork, was disappointed that Knight was not given an immediate custodial sentence.
"The brewery has been left with an outstanding debt of more than £10,000," he said.
*The pub has undergone a refurbishment programme and is due to reopen next month.