Saturday 23 November 2019

Landlord who used a JCB digger to demolish own pub after he was refused a drink is let off without charge

A JCB digger - Stock Image
A JCB digger - Stock Image

David Kearns

A furious businessman who smashed up his own pub with a JCB after he was refused a drink has been let off criminal charges because he was the owner.

Mark Swistun (45) used a 28-ton digger to wreck the seaside pub he had invested €60,000 into along with a business partner in the middle of the night.

Drinking at the pub on 26 July, Mr Swistun reportedly became infuriated when bar staff would not serve him a drink after last orders at 11pm.

He returned to the pub at 1am, at the wheel of the JCB, and used the digger to smash through an extension roof and outer wall, leaving an gaping hole in the side of the building.

The wealthy shellfish factory owner was arrested on suspicion of causing criminal damage to the Royal Oak pub in the Welsh fishing village of Penclawdd, Gower.  

But police on Tuesday said they were powerless to charge him because he jointly owns the pub.

Shellfish factory owner Mark Swistun, who destroyed his own pub with a JCB
Shellfish factory owner Mark Swistun, who destroyed his own pub with a JCB

A spokesman for South Wales police said: “A 45-year-old man who was arrested following an incident at the Royal Oak hotel in Penclawdd, Swansea, in July has been released without charge.

"At the end of the day the building belongs to him so he can do what he likes with it.

"We would have needed someone to make an official complaint about the damage he caused.

"No one came forward to do that."  

Speaking at the time, Heather Skipper (50), the pub’s landlady, who was asleep during the incident, told reporters: “I came down in my pyjamas to see half the pub had been demolished.

“The JCB had crashed into the pub but there was no sign of anyone.”

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