Landlady of The Priory pub in Leek disgusted at ‘lenient’ punishment for attackers who broke her nose in brawl

Publican Teena Birch suffered a broken nose and needed hospital treatment during a brawl at The Priory.


On 4th July 2014, National Pubwatch stated that we support the proposed amendment to the Criminal Justice and Courts bill, tabled by Lord Foulkes. The amendment would introduce a new clause of ‘Assault on workers selling alcohol’.


Supporters of NPW will know that we ran our own Court Not Caution campaign due to concerns about the number of people who were assaulting pub workers and receiving Police cautions. At the time we were assured by the Sentencing Council for England and Wales that assaults on people working in the pub trade was seen as an aggravating feature.


Have things changed and is the proposed new offence of assault on workers selling alcohol needed? Read the following article courtesy of the Stoke Sentinel and make up your own mind.


DISGUSTED: Pub landlords Barry and Teena Birch. Inset, Teena shortly after she was attacked. Picture Mark Scott

PUB landlords have slammed a decision by police to let off two people who assaulted them with just a caution.


Publican Teena Birch suffered a broken nose and needed hospital treatment during a brawl at The Priory in Leek.


She was attacked after her husband Barry refused to serve revellers in the early hours of Sunday when the bar was closed.


The 61-year-old received cuts to his arm when one member of the group threw a pint glass at him before going behind the bar and punching the couple’s 30-year-old son Mark in the face and splitting his lip.


A man and woman were arrested by police, who were called at around 1.25am, but were later released with a caution.


Now the family is considering taking civil action against the offenders and are calling for more to be done to protect publicans. Daughter Nikki Barkes, aged 36, has set up a petition calling on more support for pub landlords which has been signed by nearly 40 people.


Barry, who has worked in the industry for the past 46 years, including three years at The Priory, said: "I think it’s disgusting. I want to see justice. I want to see the police protecting us.


"The Government keeps bringing out new guidelines and laws for publicans. If you do something wrong you can be fined treble, they have upped the ante. The police have asked for this.


"We have to apply all the laws in the pub trade and it’s getting harder and harder. I was enforcing these rules when I closed the bar at 1am. "If I had been pulling a pint at 1.15am and the police walked in, I would have lost my licence. But you can punch my wife and get off with a caution. Something stinks."


Barry said the group had been drinking in the pub from around midnight. The row broke out 15 minutes after he closed the bar and resulted in one man throwing a pint glass at him.


Teena came out to see what was happening and was punched by a woman behind the bar. The 55-year-old had an asthma attack and was taken to hospital.


She said: "It was one hit on my nose and the blood started pouring. It was all over the floor. I think I went into shock because I just stood and watched the blood. When I realised what had happened, I couldn’t breathe properly.


"I am just so angry that they have been allowed to do this and get away with it."


A Staffordshire Police spokesman said: "Two local people, one male and one female, were arrested at the scene. The landlady was taken to hospital with a suspected broken nose. The two people have admitted the offence and have been given a police caution."