A FORMER pub manager has paid the price for serving alcohol to a 15-year-old girl during a late-night ‘lock-in’.

Craig Elsdon, who subsequently lost his job at the Grey Horse, in Consett, has had his licence suspended, on top of a £500 legal bill.

Newton Aycliffe magistrates heard the girl arrived at the pub with two males after Elsdon closed at about midnight on June 29.

She later told police they were served alcoholic drinks, but no payment was made.

Elsdon said the girl was drunk and he let her stay while he contacted her mother as he was aware she recently ran away from home.

In a later interview with licensing officers, he admitted giving the girl alcohol despite knowing she was under 18.

Elsdon, 41, of Delves Lane, Consett, admitted three offences contrary to the Licensing Act 2003 and told the court that he lost his job because of the incident.

Magistrates suspended his personal licence to sell alcohol for six months and fined him £120, with a total costs and surcharge order of £380.

Owen Cleugh, Durham County Council’s consumer protection manager, said the pub is licensed to sell alcohol from 11am to midnight.

“However, it is very clear on the evening in question, alcohol was served outside these hours. Not only that, but those consuming it included someone who was underage and the manager was fully aware of that fact.”