Norwich pub landlord sues MoJ for £10,000 over loss of business

The Pig and Whistle. Picture: Denise Bradley

The Pig and Whistle. Picture: Denise Bradley - Credit: Archant 2013

The boss of a Norwich pub is suing a government department after he said it mistakenly reported he owed almost £250,000 and he lost bookings from people who thought his venue was about to close.

Simon Carpenter, landlord of the Pig and Whistle, owed £2,302 to a property company following a County Court judgment but he said the debt was mistakenly published in the media as £218,873. His case states that the figure came from the Ministry of Justice's reporting of the case.

Mr Carpenter, who says the All Saints Green pub is thriving, has launched a £10,000 claim against the MoJ who, he insists, are responsible for people withdrawing business.

He said: 'Within days of the huge and wrong figure being reported, the Pig and Whistle lost two significant bookings: a wedding reception and a pool team who played their home matches at the pub. In both cases the customers told me they had seen the report about the alleged debt of almost a quarter of a million pounds.

'While they were sympathetic, they said they could not risk their events and feared my pub would soon be out of business. It's a shocking situation and the MoJ made it worse by not engaging properly to resolve it.'

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Ben Dures, of national law firm Scott-Moncrieff, is acting for Mr Carpenter against the MoJ. He said: 'The MoJ has admitted they got their figures wrong, but the ministry denies that its mistake could have had a detrimental effect on the Pig and Whistle. We have proof that business was withdrawn because people feared the pub would be closing due to the alleged debt. We are seeking compensation of £10,000 for the Pig and Whistle's lost revenue and damaged reputation.'

A spokesman for the HM Courts & Tribunals Service, part of the MoJ, said: 'We have been in correspondence with Mr Carpenter and will continue to consider his complaint.'

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