Convicted Thule Bar manager allowed to keep personal licence

A pub manager who was convicted of assault after pushing a barred customer and causing him to break his wrist has been allowed to keep his personal licence.

Mark Toka, who works in the Thule Bar, was fined £1,000 in Lerwick Sheriff Court last month.

Shetland Islands Area Licensing Board decided at a hearing this morning (Tuesday) to endorse Mr Toka’s personal licence, rather than revoke it.

Councillor Ian Scott’s motion for endorsement was backed by councillors George Smith, Beatrice Wishart and Catherine Hughson.

This outweighed the support for councillor Stephen Leask’s call for Mr Toka’s licence to be revoked – a proposal seconded by councillor Malcolm Bell.

During the hearing, Mr Toka was asked by Mr Scott to recount what happened on the night he committed the assault, on 21st February 2017.

Mr Toka said a barred customer  – who entered the bar “two to three times a month” – was refusing to leave the premises.

He said: “As a kind of self-defence, I pushed him. I didn’t mean to hurt him. I pushed him away from me in case he carries a knife or whatever and then he fell on the ground and he stood up and he left.”

Mr Toka said on previous occasions the man had threatened him.

Mr Scott put forward the motion that Mr Toka’s licence should be endorsed. George Smith seconded it.

However, Stephen Leask then tabled an amendment – seconded by Malcolm Bell – that the licence should, instead, be revoked.

Mr Leask said: “The person is guilty… It was a guilty plea and £1,000 is a serious fine and I feel that we have to revoke his licence.”

At a vote, revocation was backed only by Mr Leask and Mr Bell, while endorsement was backed by the four other councillors present.

If a licence is endorsed three times, it is removed.



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