A WORCESTER landlord has said he is not afraid to close his doors this weekend if rowdy drinkers cannot stick to the rules.

Paul Stevens, who runs The Courtyard in St Nicholas Street, said he will not tolerate a repeat of the behaviour of “drunken idiots” after he closed the pub on Saturday.

Mr Stevens said: “ I closed the doors this weekend for everyone else’s safety. If it happens again this weekend. I will close them again. I will go out of pocket. My takings on Saturday were poor but I don’t care.

“If people can’t comply I can’t open. Simple as that.”

He spoke after it was reported the pub had been closed down by police. He said: “There have been many rumours flying around that I was closed down by the police and there were fights happening outside the pub on Saturday.

“This is absolutely not the case. A compliance officer visited us in the early evening and said they were very happy with our one way system and other Covid secure measures.

“The police later paid us a visit at around 9pm but by then I had already decided to close. I had had enough. Nobody cared about social distancing or safety. It was a free for all. Myself and my doorman tried hard to police people but people would not listen.

“They were shouting across the room, refusing to sit down and just behaving like drunken idiots. Getting them to comply was just impossible. I don’t think it was a good idea to allow pubs to re-open on a Saturday. It was chaos.

“I had to take the decision to close for public safety. With the way people were behaving it would have been irresponsible for me to continue serving. I had to cut my losses and shut for the night.

“On my way home I saw many other city venues open with customers packed in like sardines. It was ridiculous!”

Mr Stevens said he has now have to hire more doormen and close from 7-8pm at night to allow them to have more control over drunken revellers.

He said he will no tolerate anyone being put at risk because of the action of a few.

Police do not have powers to close pubs, only Worcester City Council licensing is able to do this and a spokesman for the authority told us the police had not applied to close any pubs.

Daile Traylor, landlord of the Prince of Wales, Windermere Drive, also said rumours of problems there were inaccurate as the only trouble they had was telling a couple of people to leave.

“That was at 5pm,” the landlord said.

“Later on we weren’t accepting people in if they had been elsewhere, and had been rowdy.

“We were full anyway. On Sunday it was just our regulars.

“It was a good weekend.”

A spokesman for the Oak Apple, in Spetchley Road, told us they too took the decision to close early after hearing of trouble, saying they felt it was safer to do this.

The spokesman added it had been a successful opening weekend, with people following social distancing.