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I didn’t drink wine on fateful hotel shift

BAR BOSS SAYS:

- KEN McGREGOR COURT REPORTER

A BAR manager has denied he was drinking alcohol the night a patron was served 21 drinks before fatally crashing his car.

In what is believed to be the first case of its kind involving an ensuing fatal crash, the Penneshaw Hotel and duty manager Richard Mark Purvis, below, has pleaded guilty to multiple counts of selling or supplying liquor to an intoxicate­d person. The incident led to the death of Kangaroo Island resident and experience­d shearer Anthony “Affy” Read.

Prosecutor­s have told the Christies Beach Magistrate­s Court that Purvis, the hotel’s responsibl­e person, had been drinking during his shift before the Saturday, June 22, 2013 crash.

CCTV footage shows Mr Read, 55, drinking at the hotel and on one occasion clinking glasses with Purvis.

But in a disputed facts hearing yesterday, Purvis denied he drank any alcohol that night. He said he had abstained from alcohol at work for almost six months before the crash.

Bartender Dean Ian Carey had earlier pleaded guilty to multiple counts of selling or supplying liquor to an intoxicate­d person over the incident and told the court Purvis had been drinking up to two bottles of wine per shift.

His evidence was backed up by another former employee who gave evidence yesterday.

However, Purvis, 53, said he had been drinking lime and soda. He said his increase in mood as the evening progressed was as a result of the duties of his job rather than a level of intoxicati­on.

Purvis, who told the court he was shattered by the death of Mr Read, said he had fronted his alcohol problem when his wife found he had been drinking at work and they had a “serious” discussion in January 2013 — six months before the fatal crash.

He said he had abstained from drinking at work since.

The hotel and Purvis will return to court at a later date before Magistrate Kossiavelo­s considers sentence.

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