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Pub Landlord faces court for smoking ban

The second landlord to be taken to court for violating the smoking ban received his summons yesterday and, if found guilty, could pay a fine of �16,500.

Nick Hogan, the owner of the Swan Hotel and Barristers Bar in Bolton will appear before magistrates in the North-west on 14 September. He faces nine charges, five of failing to prevent people from smoking in his pubs and four of obstructing council officers.

Hogan joins Hamish Howitt, the Blackpool landlord of the Happy Scots Bar, who faces fines of up to �42,500.

Hogan told Bolton News: �I'm over the moon that I've finally received my summons and we can now get on with the court process. I will be defending all of the charges vigorously.�

Bolton council would not comment any further stating the case was �now a legal matter�.

Hamish Howitt, landlord of the Happy Scots Bar in Blackpool and the first licensee to face court action over the smoking ban has had his case adjourned for two weeks due to lack of legal representation.

Despite the adjournment the prominent critic of the smoking ban was served with five additional penalty notices of breaking the smoking ban.

Howitt was in Blackpool magistrates court yesterday after receiving a summons detailing seven counts of flouting the ban from Blackpool Council.

With each breach of the ban punishable by a fine of �2,500, Howitt faces a fine of �30,000 if found guilty. The further five penalty notices could bring the fine up to �42,500.

Howitt has entered a plea of not guilty but was told by the judge he must have a solicitor to defend his case.

He has been ordered to return to court on 15 August, alongside his wife Joanne, son Hugh and friend Warren Thompson.

Howitt told the BBC website: �I am prepared to fight this case all the way.

�The council are going to try to break my spirit and resolve but they will never win. I will take this all the way to the European Court of Human Rights

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