Ian Snowball could face a fine of thousands of pounds after Kirklees Council decided to prosecute him for a second time. He was convicted earlier this year for allowing drinking to take place past the allowable 10pm watershed
A pub landlord accused of breaking lockdown rules by players playing beer pong believes the council has fined him £6,000 in a personal “vendetta”.
Ian Snowball, 62, who co-owns sports bar Showtime in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, says the council imposed the “pedantic” fine after “council spies” spotted a man getting up to have a beer while he was doing it played bar game.
The council says the break came in June last year – two months after the Westminster soirées that sparked the Partygate scandal.
At the time, pubs, landlords and their patrons had to adhere to strict lockdown measures.
Government guidance in June read: “People should remain seated when consuming food and drink and take steps to minimize the risk of infection.”
The council’s case centers on Ian and his son Adam, 36, who also manages the pub and is breaking health and safety laws – by allowing the man to get up from his seat and have a pint.
But Ian claims that fine is just the latest in a series of clashes with the council.
In November, the couple allegedly broke lockdown protocol by having clients on their premises after 10pm – for which they were fined £1,000.
Now the father-son duo face a second penalty – the number could double to £2000 each if they both lose their cases.
Ian branded Friday’s upcoming court appearance at Kirklees Magistrates’ Court a “David vs. Goliath” fight.
He said: “That’s totally pedantic. The law says you can’t get up and eat and drink.
“Obviously that was written because they don’t want people walking around the pub eating drinking and spreading the virus.
“But this is a case of a person who sits in a seat and then on one occasion allegedly gets up, throws a ball and drinks and then sits in the same seat.
“They haven’t moved, but the difference is that they supposedly get up to drink at this place.
Ian, who has run the pub for seven years, claims that on the evening of June 25, 2021, council officials peered through the pub’s windows.
He claims that’s how they saw the alleged rule-breaking at a specially designed beer pong table.
He said: “What happened was they came from their side and they looked through the window and there were some people standing playing beer pong.
“Back then it was illegal to allow people to get up and eat or drink, but beer pong is played in a plastic cup and there’s a tiny little drink in there and you throw the ball.
“Then they also continue in their statement that seven people were sitting at the table, although at the time you were only allowed six.”
However, Ian claims he has CCTV footage showing it didn’t happen – and will be taking the tape to court to prove it.
He said: “We have probably the most advanced CCTV system in the UK of any live venue, so everything is recorded.
“Your temperature will be recorded, the number of people in the pub will be recorded and your movements will be recorded.
“And when we checked it, we can see quite clearly that nobody got up to drink while playing.”
Ian believes he will be singled out and no other business in the area has been hit with multiple fines over Covid rules.
He claims their “vendetta” began when he began improving a road at the back of his property, which he was later told by council planners.
He said: “We call it a vendetta against me, against Ian Snowball.
When asked for comment, Colin Parr, Strategic Director for Environment and Climate Change at Kirklees Council, said: “When the Covid-19 restrictions were in place they were there to protect us all.
“And we thank the vast majority of companies who have worked really hard to ensure these rules are followed at all times and have played a key role in reducing the transmission of Covid-19.
“We do not wish to prosecute any local business, but any breach of these restrictions must be taken very seriously in the interests of public safety, regardless of when it occurred.
“In this case, some restrictions were not followed and the owners were subsequently fined which remain unpaid and lead to criminal prosecution.”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/pub-landlord-could-fined-6000-26792640 A pub keeper could be fined £6,000 for 'not stopping during beer pong'.