A Boston business owner has had her alcohol premises licence revoked after breaching COVID-19 lockdown rules.
Last week, Patricia Pereira, owner of the Beira Alta Deli appeared before Boston Licensing Committee after customers were seen inside her business on May 29.
Following an anonymous tip-off, police visited the premises where they saw people outside.
On inspection they found people sitting inside the store as well as evidence she had not been serving drinks for taking out – including alcohol in a whiskey glass and coffee cups in a bin without takeaway lids on.
During the meeting she said she had been busy converting the shop into a grocery store and had been open for takeaway but had been distracted by the customers.
She said she did not know one of the customers but did know the other and had engaged them in conversation.
“I did break the rules but it was a situation which was not normal,” she said.
“The past two years I’ve been open I never had a problem. I do try my best to be within the law.
“I have been in this country a long time and I haven’t had any problems.
“I don’t think I’m a bad person, I had a moment which I decided to serve. I let myself go in that instance.”
Officers also had concerns over the designated premises supervisor, and said she had failed to display a summary of her premises licence, had no evidence of staff training or enforcement of the Challenge 25 policy.
Sergeant Kim Enderby, Alcohol Licensing Manager for Lincolnshire Police said during the meeting: “In Lincolnshire we have been very fortunate. We have had almost 100% of compliance within and during lockdown.
“This premises chose deliberately to keep trading, to allow customers inside sitting and chatting without measures in place.
“We know this has happened on at least two occasions but we have concerns this was a daily occurrence.
“Mrs Pereira has acknowledged she knew what she was doing, was wrong, it was ignored. This is something she chose to do.”
“The evidence shows she cannot be trusted to promote the licensing objectives when she chose to ignore the legislation.”
Following the decision, he said: “[It] sends a strong deterrent message to anyone owning or running licensed premises – act lawfully and responsibly, follow the guidance being offered or face losing your licence.”
Next week, a business in Spalding will also face losing its licence after numerous customers were found inside.