Photographs of drinkers spark appeal by Norwich pub landlord

A pub landlord has urged his regulars not to react if a neighbouring business takes photographs of them – because it could cost him his licence.

The Murderers in Timberhill, Norwich, has long been in dispute with nearby Moss and Leakey opticians over the tables and chairs outside the pub.

The opticians had objected to the pub's licence to have the tables and chairs and conditions were imposed on the pub by a city council committee, which insists that drinkers have to be seated.

But landlord Phil Cutter says the opticians have irked his regulars by taking photographs of them while they are outside – as part of their attempts to prove he is breaching his licence.

One of the customers has complained to police about her photograph being taken by optician David Foskett and Mr Cutter said he fears that if a regular reacts and lashes out, it could mean he loses his licence.

Mr Cutter said: 'We have spoken to the police about having to restrain irate customers. One of my female staff was recently forced to intervene in a potentially dangerous situation when some of our patrons were photographed.

'The customer took extreme offence. Had my staff not intervened, Mr Foskett's camera would have been damaged and he would have been attacked.

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'I realise the city council are being inundated with images of patrons standing up. We will address these issues at the next hearing.

'But if my customers are being photographed, I don't want them to take matters into their own hands.'

A spokesman for Norfolk police confirmed a complaint had been made against Mr Foskett and that police had spoken to him and the complainant, but that no criminal offence had been committed and no further action would be taken. Moss and Leakey did not want to comment, but it is understood staff have been taking photographs to gather evidence that licensing conditions are being breached. That is something they were required to do by the council's regulatory committee and it is understood the evidence will be presented at the next review of the licence in November.

As previously reported, Moss and Leakey's arguments against the licence are that they believe the road and pavements are not wide enough to allow for chairs and tables and that drinkers outside the pub intimidate their customers.

Do you have a story about a local pub? Call David Bale on 01603 772427 or email