Top pub fined over smoking ban breach

The Masons Arms, Carr Mill Road, Billinge
The Masons Arms, Carr Mill Road, Billinge

STAFF at an award-winning St Helens pub have been prosecuted after their premises breached smoke-free laws.

John Ruffell, Ian Smith and Gillian Smith - all of the Masons Arms pub in Billinge - failed to stop members of the public lighting up in a substantially enclosed area and, on two occasions, failed to display no smoking signage.

Knowsley Magistrates’ Court heard last week how a large wooden shed-style smoking shelter had been built outside the Masons Arms following the implementation of smoke-free legislation in July 2007.

But, despite repeated requests from environmental health officers for the landlords to make the shelter compliant, it was never modified until the case went to court.

Magistrates ordered that the defendants each contribute £200 towards St Helens Council’s prosecution costs.

The law to protect people from smoking in public places is seen as the most important public health legislation to be introduced in decades - protecting employees from the harmful effects of second-hand smoke.

Prior to the implementation of the smoke free law it was estimated that exposure to second-hand smoke in the workplace caused around 617 premature deaths in the UK each year.