NOTORIOUS landlord Stuart Smith has been punished for a scam to ship the stolen contents of a pub to Cyprus and then selling it.
Smith, 39, who is facing court action for allegedly allowing punters to light up at the College Arms in Huddersfield, appeared at Bradford Crown Court yesterday over the unrelated charges.
He was given a six-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and ordered to do 160 hours community service.
The case related to his part in a swindle dating back to 2005.
In the summer of that year Smith’s associate, Robert Mattock, 63, took over the Winterburn pub in Warley, near Halifax.
Mattock agreed to buy the pub’s £33,500 worth of fixtures and fittings from Thwaites brewery.
He had already defaulted on rent payments when the brewery had a call on January 20 the following year to say that items from the pub, including furniture and a TV, were being loaded on to a container lorry.
The brewery’s area manager turned up at the pub to find all the fixtures and fittings and kitchen equipment had gone.
Simon Myers, prosecuting, told the court: “The manager tracked down Mr Mattock and was told all the property had been put into storage because Mr Mattock was changing the trading style.
“He was told to put all the property back because it belonged to the brewery.”
But Smith and Mattock had paid for a container, full of about £22,000-worth of goods, to be transported to the resort of Paphos in Cyprus.
Mr Myers said: “The property was shipped to a bar, ironically named the Winterburn by Mr Smith.”
Smith then tried to sell the bar to several people, before selling it to Brit Malcolm Blower for £40,000. He told Mr Blower the money was for the property and the goodwill of the pub.
Mr Blower was forced to return to the UK to seek cash help when the business went under, the court heard.
Smith told police he had bought the items for £20,000 without knowing they were stolen.
Judge Peter Benson was told both Smith and Mattock were now bankrupt.
Smith, whose address was given as Newlands Farm, Warley, had admitted theft, removing criminal property and obtaining the £40,000 from Mr Blower by deception at an earlier hearing.
Judge Benson told him: “You acted in a thoroughly dishonest fashion.”
Mattock, of Longley Hall, Upper Longley, Halifax, admitted theft and removing criminal property.
Jailing him for eight months Judge Benson said: “You were in a position of trust in relation to the brewery. You were interested with the fixtures and fittings and you deliberately, coolly and collectedly took them for your own purposes.
“It seems to me you initiated this piece of conduct.”
Smith attracted a flood of media attention last month when he publicised the fact he was allowing people to smoke at the Golden Fleece, near Ripponden, which he claimed to be running at the time.
He boasted he would do the same at the College Arms on Queensgate in Huddersfield.
He was in the pub for just one afternoon before the Admiral Taverns company boarded it up.
Smith is due in Huddersfield Magistrates’ Court on Friday for allegedly breaching the smoking ban.