Drunk patron riding topless male waiter lands Bathurst publican in hot water.

Image: (c) Google Images 2019.

The licensee of Bathurst’s Elephant & Castle Hotel has lost an appeal against a conviction for offences including letting two women get highly intoxicated at a “Ladies take over” event featuring topless male waiters.

In the NSW District Court on 12 July, Judge Helen Syme dismissed Campbell Gibson’s appeal against his conviction and $2,500 fine handed down in Bathurst Local Court in February.

In late 2017, Liquor & Gaming NSW inspectors found two highly intoxicated women at a ‘Ladies take over’ charity function with topless male waiters. One woman was unable to hold her head up while seated, while the other repeatedly fell over. A third woman was riding on the back of a topless male waiter serving drinks at the function.

When questioned, one of the waiters did not have a valid Responsible Service of Alcohol competency card.

In February, Mr Gibson was fined $2,500 for permitting intoxication and given a 12-month conditional release order for allowing a staff member to serve alcohol without a RSA card.

In dismissing the appeal, Judge Syme said the sight of a woman jumping on the back of a topless male waiter “served as background evidence of the lack of diligence by bar staff and that patrons were becoming unruly.”

She said many of the ‘mitigating factors’ listed in Mr Gibson’s written submissions were irrelevant. She only accepted he was of good character and that he had taken steps to prevent future offences.

Judge Syme said the situation was not assisted by Mr Gibson remaining upstairs throughout the entire incident.

Liquor & Gaming NSW Director of Compliance Operations, Sean Goodchild, said the case highlights the risks of allowing high-level intoxication to happen on premises.

“Licensees who allow intoxication put patrons and others at risk,” says Goodchild. “Hotels have a responsibility to serve alcohol responsibly and to manage staff to ensure the responsible service of alcohol is practised.”

The Elephant and Castle Hotel was listed for sale by HTL Property in December 2018.

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