THE owner of Porters Ale House has been fined for serving alcohol without a licence after the town centre premises was shut down in January.

Sinead Dooley, of Fitzherbert Street in Orford, pleaded guilty at Warrington Magistrates' Court to offences relating to her business on Buttermarket Street.

These included the supply of alcohol from a premises which no longer held a licence, a failure to notify the relevant licensing authority of a change in registered office address of the business and failing to pay the annual licence fee for the premises.

The 55-year-old had been sent a letter to advise the annual premises licence fee, due to be settled by January 2019, had not been paid.

As such, the licence had been suspended.

On June 3, a council enforcement officer visited the registered premises, where Dooley was present.

She claimed that the letter had not been received as it had been addressed to a former accountant.

Three days after the initial visit, the officer attended the premises again and was able to purchase an alcoholic drink.

Dooley also claimed that the premises licence had been transferred to another party, which was later found to be untrue.

On June 18, Dooley was written to and invited to attend an interview under caution, which she failed to attend, as she claimed that she had not received the letter.

She admitted to the offences in an interview in July.

After an investigation, it was found that Companies House records showed the company’s registered address was amended on March 21, but that Dooley had failed to notify the council.

The outstanding annual fee for the premises was paid and the premise licence was subsequently transferred to new owners on June 25.

She was fined £50 for two of the offences, and £100 for the other two offences.

In addition to the fine, Dooley was instructed to pay costs of £675 and a victim surcharge of £30.

Warrington Borough Council’s cabinet member for environment and public protection, Cllr Judith Guthrie said: “It’s crucial that business owners ensure they have the proper licences and update the council of any changes in their circumstances. If you don’t, you could face a fine.

“In this case, the individual’s failure to co-operate with the council resulted in a lack of up-to-date records and the unlicensed sale of alcohol. This successful prosecution is an example of the firm action we will take against anyone who fails to adhere to their licensing responsibilities.”