By Andrew Starke
A Darlinghurst pub has been awarded $9000 in costs after it was prosecuted by police who claimed it had exceeded capacity restrictions in a case described by the publican's lawyer as ‘bizarre’.
Archbold Legal Solutions lawyer, David Sylvester, said a publican client had been accused of exceeding the number of patrons allowed on the first floor of his pub under a Council Development Application (DA).
Sylvester said the owner had asked that the pub not be named but it is known to be a popular hotel in Sydney’s Darlinghurst area.
“The matter was commenced by NSW Police which is bizarre considering it was within the council’s area of enforcement,” he said.
“Anyway, we knew that they wouldn't succeed with the prosecution because clearly the police were out of their depth.”
The matter was due before court late last week but police withdrew the charge at the 11th hour and the publican was awarded $9000 in costs.
“The reason I raise this matter is that some publicans and licensees may not be aware of the implications of their DA and whether a particular DA covers all areas of their hotel or just a particular area,” said Sylvester.
“Publicans and licensees should not take information relied upon by the police for granted as they can be wrong, as was shown in this case.
“Unfortunately way too many publicans/owners/licensees simply pay fines and breaches issued to them for fear that they will be ‘punished’ further by police if they defend the breach.”
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