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Norwich pub targeted by ‘malicious social media attack’ after rodent spotted inside

PUBLISHED: 09:27 14 July 2020 | UPDATED: 14:46 15 July 2020

The Copper Beech pub near Longwater in Norwich. Picture; Google Maps

The Copper Beech pub near Longwater in Norwich. Picture; Google Maps

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A Norwich pub says it has been the victim of a “malicious social media attack” after a rodent was spotted inside on its second day of reopening after lockdown.

Over the weekend a video was circulated online of a small animal - which appeared to be a rat - inside The Copper Beech pub on Alex Moorhouse Way near Longwater.

Pub chain Marston’s, which runs The Copper Beech, confirmed a rodent did enter the venue through a door which had been left open to comply with Covid-19 restrictions.

The company said the staff reacted swiftly and the incident was “dealt with” within two minutes and only attracted one customer complaint.

But Marston’s said its Facebook page has been “hacked and duplicated” in a “malicious social media attack.”

In a statement Marston’s said: “On the second day of reopening a rodent did enter the pub, this was due to keeping the doors open to comply within Covid-19 guidelines. The incident was dealt with immediately by staff within two minutes.

“The area was then sanitised and apologies to customers on site who were all very understanding. The [Environmental Health] have been informed.

“The incident attracted one complaint, however there has since been a malicious social media attack on the pub’s Facebook page which has been hacked and duplicated under the fake name ‘Copper Beach’, which replies to customers referring to the ‘rat’ and a short video has been shared constantly by one individual, trying to cause damage to the pub’s business after three months closed.

“This has been reported and copied to Facebook directly, and was deleted by its owner late last night.

“Many of our regular customers and other local businesses have been greatly supportive and we really appreciate their comments and support.”

A spokesman for South Norfolk Council confirmed its environmental health department had been contacted by the pub and a pest contractor.

The council said there was “no evidence of internal activity at the premises” and that it was satisfied that the event was a “single incident”.

It said: “Their external door will now be closed and they will provide hand sanitiser for customers to use after opening the door.”


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