A MERSEYSIDE pub at the centre of a shooting was shut down after police linked the boozer to organised crime.
The Ploughman, in Stockbridge Village, had its licence suspended for three months yesterday after a 21-year-old man was shot last month.
Three shots were fired through the pub’s windows on January 4, narrowly missing other customers inside. The victim was said to be a known criminal who has since refused to cooperate with detectives.
Police last night told a Knowsley council licensing hearing that the Ploughman, in Marled Hay, was “a premises where local criminals frequent and carry out their business without being challenged by staff”.
Insp Maria Hoogendyk told of police intelligence alleging that members of bar staff had hidden drugs and guns behind the bar and in an upstairs flat.
She told councillors that the pub was used by an “organised crime group” responsible for the supply of class A and B drugs in Merseyside and beyond.
She told the meeting: “[The gang] are in dispute with other rival gangs often involving the use of firearms.
“There have been five shootings in the last three months linked to the group based at the Ploughmans.”
The claim that bar staff had hidden drugs and guns was described as “total nonsense” by landlord Vic Miller, whose company Miller Properties NW owns the premises.
He said: “To say [the pub] is the drug centre of Cantril Farm (Stockbridge’s former name), that’s going way over the top.