East Devon: Pervy pub landlord is stripped of his licence after being jailed for sex assaults

A former pub landlord who has been jailed for sexually assaulting women at his bar has been stripped of his licence by East Devon officials.

Peter Hayball had his personal licence revoked and will be unable to reapply until long after his release from prison, writes local democracy reporter Philip Churm.

The decision made by East Devon District Council’s licensing and enforcement sub-committee on Wednesday, August 24 was only disclosed this week (Wednesday, September 7).

Members agreed to revoke Peter Hayball, 56, of his licence after he was jailed in May for 18 months and placed on the sex offenders’ register for 10 years for offences committed between 2016 and 2018.

During the trial, the court heard how Hayball, who was running a pub in Devon at the time, would pull open women tops and push money into their cleavage.

He touched the breasts of at least one woman and was stopped from doing so by another.

Hayball claimed he was just using ‘Carry-On humour”, saying it had been misunderstood as sexual advances and never went beyond a joke.

He was prosecuted on 13 charges relating to four women and was found guilty of three sexual offences.

Independent Councillor for Cranbrook and chair of the licensing sub-committee Kim Bloxham said: “The licensing authority takes matters such as this very seriously.

“All licence holders are required to promote the ‘licensing objectives’ – including maintaining public safety and preventing crime and disorder.

“The committee considered whether the holder of the licence remains a ‘fit and proper’ person to continue to hold a personal licence with these two objectives in mind.

“The committee considers that the revocation of the personal licence on this occasion is a necessary and proportionate decision to ensure that the public remain safe where alcohol is being served, either in East Devon or wherever the holder might be operating in the future.”

All sales of alcohol must be made by, or under the authority of a personal licence holder.

The council’s legal advisor Giles Slater explained the long-term impact of Hayball’s conviction.

“Obviously if he applies for personal licence again, that will come up on his application that he’s debarred for the next 10 years and he will be unable to apply until 2032,” he said.

Mr Slater also said, under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act, Hayball’s conviction would affect other areas of employment.

“A custodial sentence of 18-months imprisonment means that the rehabilitation for most other jobs is four years from the date on which the sentence is completed. So, he won’t be rehabilitated until 2026.”

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