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Worker at Kirkcaldy ‘drugs den’ pub stripped of licence to sell alcohol

Kirk Inn, Kirkcaldy.
Kirk Inn, Kirkcaldy.

Police have claimed a Kirkcaldy pub was used as a front to “store and supply controlled drugs”.

The statement was made to Fife Licensing Board by Sergeant Gordon Hood of Police Scotland as it removed the licence held by Andrew Holder for the Kirk Inn.

Mr Holder, who worked at the trouble-hit pub in Milton Road, was absent when Fife Licensing Board declared he was not a fit and proper person to hold a licence.

Labour councillor Ryan Smart, who raised a motion to revoke Holder’s personal licence, said the board’s powers had been limited by the fact other individuals involved in running the premises had not held personal licences.

“These people should not have been anywhere near a licensed premises,” he said.

“This is absolutely tragic by the way, that this has got to this point. I feel sorry for the people of Kirkcaldy who have had to put up with this.”

Earlier this year, councillors on the board heard there had been multiple noise complaints, underage teenagers drinking in the bar, a rat infestation, and fights outside the Kirk Inn.

On one occasion an intoxicated 16-year-old youth was discovered in such a state that an ambulance had to be called.

In September last year, police investigating serious and organised crime swooped on the premises.

As a result of the raid, the bar manager was arrested after £8,600 worth of cannabis and around £1,000 of heroin was found.

Police who searched the pub were acting on intelligence that the Kirk Inn was being used to deal drugs.

Powder traces were discovered on surfaces, and sealed bags containing traces of white and brown powder were found to have been stored in the toilet cistern.

The bar was also found to be infested with vermin on September 21 and the health certificate was revoked, preventing the business from selling food.

Mr Hood said officers who attended the premises noticed the pub was in a “very poor state” and “posed a serious risk to health”.

Councillors heard Mr Holder, who lived in the Kirk Inn while he worked there, had been difficult to contact.

He had given the council a new address but letters sent out to him at this address had been returned. And there had been no response when messages were left for him.

Mr Smart added: “This had been going on since January. I say we have this hearing today and put it to bed.”

The Kirk Inn is owned by James Watson and his father-in-law David Elliot, who rented the pub to Mr Holder.

At a hearing in January, when the bar’s licence was suspended, it was revealed the owners had been trying to remove Mr Holden since September but were having difficulties getting him to leave.

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