T-total teen discos at licensed Cookstown nightclub breached the law

Inside Sense nightclub
Inside Sense nightclub

The Court of Appeal has ruled that teenage discos at Cookstown’s Sense nightclub breached licensing laws, despite no alcohol being on display or for sale at its Club 13-17 events.

The previous ruling at Dungannon Magistrates Court was upheld because Sense nightclub is a licensed premises and serves alcohol at all of its other functions.

As a result Glenavon House Hotel was ruled in breach of the law in relation to the monthly teenage discos, regularly attended by up to 1,000 youths, being held at its nightclub since 1994.

It was alleged that on between June and August 2013 hotel owner Brian Morris allowed a person under the age of 18 to be in the licensed nightclub.

He was convicted of the offences under the Licensing (NI) Order 1996 following a contested hearing last year.

Police inspections found no alcohol on display at the teenage discos.

The Belfast Telegraph reported that Mr Justice Treacy, sitting with Lord Chief Justice Morgan and Lord Justice Gillen, backed the earlier findings.

He said one of the objectives of the 1996 Order is to safeguard children by restricting access to licensed premises.

It prohibits minors from being in any part of licensed premises which contains a bar or is used exclusively or mainly for the sale of intoxicating liquor.