East Putney Karaoke Bar Fined Over £8000

For noise, indoor smoking and breaches of licensing laws

A noisy late-night karaoke bar in East Putney has been ordered to pay more than £8,000 in fines and court costs after admitting numerous licensing breaches.

Coco Futures Limited, the company that operates the Sue karaoke bar in the Upper Richmond Road, was fined for allowing loud music and singing after hours and for permitting customers to smoke indoors.

It was also failing to serve alcoholic drinks in the correct measures. Bars must offer customers traditional short measures if they buy spirits, but the company would only allow customers to purchase full bottles of whisky at £100 a time.

It also breached a number of other licensing conditions including a failure to maintain the bar’s CCTV system in proper working order and not keeping proper membership records.

South Western magistrates heard that the bar catered mainly for Korean clients and that local residents living nearby had complained to the council about late night noise from the premises.

When environmental health officers visited the bar they found its customers belting out karaoke numbers to loud amplified music later than permitted by its license.

On two separate visits the officers noted a smell of smoke, ashtrays full of cigarette ends and packets of cigarettes and lighters on tables in the bar’s private booths.

Company director Seung Cho also failed to use a sound limiter that was specified under the terms of his licence that would have prevented the bar’s amplified music from rising beyond acceptable volume levels.

When questioned he told the officers that he was in the process of buying one and having it installed. However when follow-up checks were made six weeks later the device was still not in place.

Mr Cho also insisted that additional sound proofing measures had already been installed, but when the officers contacted the company that was supposed to have done the job its manager confirmed that they had only provided a quote and that no actual work had been carried out.

In total Coco Futures Limited pleaded guilty to six offences. It was fined £4,380 and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £120 and the council’s costs of £3,634.

Commenting on the case, the chairman of the council’s regulatory licensing committee Cllr Martin D Johnson said:
“This has been a very expensive lesson for Mr Cho’s business, which has shown scant regard for the welfare of its neighbours and chosen to flout many of the conditions of its license. He should be under absolutely no illusion about the future prospects of that licence and its impact on the business if any of these offences are repeated in future.”

Anyone experiencing problems relating to licensed premises in the borough can call 020 8871 6160 or email licensing@wandsworth.gov.uk.

February 8, 2014