A MAN claims he was 'confused' as to what constituted a pub, after entering a Northwich bar, despite a court order telling him not to.

Craig Lee Howman, of Stones Manor Lane in Hartford, is no stranger to court and was back in the dock on Tuesday, June 21, just one week on from his last appearance.

The 30-year-old had been told by Chester magistrates he was not allowed to enter any public house in the CW8 and CW9 postcodes.

However, Howman, who is subject of a four-month suspended sentence order by the court, wandered into the Hart of Hartford on Monday, June 20.

Emily Comer, prosecuting, told the court how Howman had been drunk and was bothering customers.

“It was around 1.30pm when he entered the establishment,” she said.

“He began speaking with customers, making them feel uncomfortable.

“Bar staff called police and told Howman, who then left and walked away.

“A police officer on patrol in the area identified the defendant and arrested him.

“He was heavily intoxicated, and his speech was slurred.”

Northwich Guardian: Craig Lee Howman entered the bar despite a court order banning him not toCraig Lee Howman entered the bar despite a court order banning him not to

Howman was on bail for an offence of obstructing a police officer during an incident at another pub in Northwich. Ms Comer also told the court how he is soon to appear in court again on a charge on sexual assault against a woman.

“He has chosen to go into the pub, despite being told not to by the court not to the week before.

“He has a record for breaching such orders in the past.”

Becky Hay, defending, said her client admitted being in the bar, but was confused by the terms of the order, believing the venue 'wasn’t a typical public house'.

“It’s more of a café,” Ms Hay explained.

“There was a misconception that this wasn’t a public house, so this is a case of clear confusion on his behalf.

“He didn’t go there to cause trouble.”

Magistrates told Howman, although they didn’t believe he didn’t know the Hart of Hartford wasn’t a licensed premises, they gave him the benefit of the doubt.

The order was amended to make it clear he is not allowed in any licensed premises – except for supermarkets selling alcohol. He will next appear in court on August 31 to face allegations of sexual assault.