A LICENSEE has escaped penalty after he pleaded guilty to supplying alcohol after hours.
Robert Schofield has been the publican of The Peel Inn at Nundle for more than 48 years but his first breach of the laws came earlier this year when he was charged with selling or supplying liquor outside authorised hours.
Schofield pleaded guilty to the offence in Tamworth Local Court this week, the first time the case had been heard.
Solicitor Ken Yardy said the offence related to late trading on a Sunday because of a staff party.
“It carries a strike,” Mr Yardy said of the breach, if convicted, under state government laws.
“My client has been the licensee there since 1966 without anything bad on his licensing record.”
The court was told Schofield had been in the industry for more than 48 years without incident and been awarded an OAM for his services to the local community.
“Well, your client is clearly a well regarded gentleman,” Magistrate Michael Holmes said after reading a number of written references.
Mr Yardy said the particular offence was committed on a Sunday.
“The premises is licensed until 3am on any other day,” he said, noting that the licensing hours went to 10pm on a Sunday.
“There are no aggravating circumstances.”
Mr Yardy also said Schofield was seeking an amendment to his licence to allow him to trade later, but that staff drinks were no longer available.
“You’ve been trading without a blemish for a very, very long time,” Magistrate Holmes said.
“I’m going to dismiss the matter pursuant to Section 10A.”
It will mean the hotel won’t carry a mark against its name and won’t face any restrictions under state government licensing laws.
“You’ll be careful in the future, won’t you?” Magistrate Holmes told Schofield.
“Yes, your honour,” he replied.