Bishop Auckland pub closed down after deathly attack

A Bishop Auckland pub close to where a man was found seriously injured and later died has been closed down.

Anthony Hancock was discovered with head injures outside the Beehive in Bishop Auckland on Saturday night. The 42-year-old died on Wednesday at The James Cook University Hospital.

Police outside the Beehive pub in Kingsway

Lee Ballan, 32, of Lusby Crescent, Bishop Auckland, appeared before Peterlee magistrates on Wednesday charged with manslaughter.  He was released on bail to appear at crown court on 27th April.  Ballan entered no pleas to the offence and was granted conditional bail to an address near Newcastle.  He was ordered not to enter Bishop Auckland accept to see his lawyer.

Police applied to Durham County Council licensing panel for a revoking of the pub’s licence to provide alcohol and entertainment.  They sited the on-going crime and disorder issues as the reason behind the move at the bid on Wednesday 20th April.

It comes after Anthony George Hancock, 42, of Bishop Auckland, died after he was attacked outside the pub around 11pm on Saturday.

Married father of three, Mr Hancock was a security guard and lived on the Woodhouse Close Estate. He was taken to the James Cook University Hospital where he died early on Wednesday.

Durham Police Superintendent Graham Hall said: “We have a good working relationship with licensees who share our concerns about crime and anti-social behaviour.  “However if there are serious problems with disorder we always aim to take positive effective action against it.”

This is not the first time the police have tried to get The Beehive’s licence revoked as they failed in January.  Then instead the council decided to impose changes on the pub like reduced opening hours and the licensed owner had to be present at all times.

In 2009, Maurice Rowell killed Stephen Wilson with one punch outside the pub.  Maurice was jailed for six years and is the son of The Beehive’s owner Maurice Rowell senior.

Between January 2009 and November 2010 Durham Police recorded a total of 17 assaults in and near to the pub.

Richard Langdon, the council’s solicitor, said: “Following an incident at The Beehive at the weekend, the committee heard an interim review application and decided to suspend the pub’s licence.  Since then the council has been advised that the licence is going to be surrendered.”


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