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Pub couple in court over smoke laws

PUBLISHED: 19:20 11 March 2008 | UPDATED: 21:00 07 July 2010

The husband and wife licensees of a rural pub have become the first in Norfolk to be prosecuted for flouting new laws aimed at protecting the public from second-hand smoke.

The husband and wife licensees of a rural pub have become the first in Norfolk to be prosecuted for flouting new laws aimed at protecting the public from second-hand smoke.

The landlord of the Dog and Partridge at East Wretham challenged the introduction of a nationwide smoking ban last year by describing it as a “blatant infringement of civil liberties.”

But Martin Turver and his wife Karen joined the select club of publicans across the country this week to be charged with failing to prevent smokers from stubbing out in enclosed public spaces.

The couple, who have run the south Norfolk inn for over 18 months, were not present at Thetford Magistrates' Court on Monday, but entered pleas through their solicitor to 15 counts of breaching the anti-smoking legislation on three occasions last year.

The charges, which are thought to be the first in East Anglia, followed an investigation by Breckland Council and a number of visits to the pub by council officers and police following complaints by customers and villagers.

Turver, 49, who lives at the Dog and Partridge, entered guilty pleas to failing to prevent smoking in the licensed premises on one occasion on July 25 and two occasions on August 31. He also admitted to lighting up in the smoke free place on the same day. Turver denies three counts of failing to prevent smoking on August 4 and obstructing an authorised Breckland Council officer on August 31.

Mrs Turver, 43, also of the pub in Watton Road, Wretham, admits six counts of failing to prevent smoking, but denies smoking in a smoke free place on August 31. After recording their pleas, magistrates adjourned the case until a later date at Swaffham this month.

Ian Ohlson, who also lives at the Dog and Partridge, is also accused of smoking in a smoke free place on August 31, but was not represented and did not appear.

Under the legislation that came into force on July 1, landlords can face a fine of up to £2,500 for failing to stop smoking in enclosed public spaces and individuals can receive a £50 fixed penalty notice.

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