Gary Philpott was sentenced to six months imprisonment at Leeds Crown Court after admitting he failed to notify authorities of seven deaths on the premises of his Hunslet public house, the Strangler's Arms .
Prosecutor, Arnold Ridley, described to the court how barmaid Louise Tattersall - who had assisted Philpott in concealing the bodies - broke down under the pressure of the criminal action and called the police in the early hours of Monday June 9th of this year with a full confession.
Attending the scene, officers found two male bodies secreted one atop the other underneath the bar, casually covered by an old raincoat. An intensive search revealed five further corpses, three male and two female. One was locked in a toilet cubicle in the gents, one was laid out on a window sill in the main bar area behind closed curtains, one was found jammed into a broken refrigerator in the pub kitchen, covered by packages of rancid African 'bushmeat', prompting a visit from Environmental Health Department officials, and the two females were found in an upstairs bedroom, disappointingly not staged in an embarrassing for all lesbian pose involving cocktail umbrellas and packets of pork scratchings.
The court was told that all seven had died of natural causes at some time on June 6th, although that in itself was no reason for the accused's failure to notify the authorities.
Sir Michael Brandreth QC, for the defence told the court that Philpott had panicked when the first customer keeled over dead in the Gents toilets after complaining that his beer was flat, thinking that possibly the pub's speciality hotpot had poisoned the victim. In that state of panic, he had sought the help of barmaid Tattersall in hiding the corpse in a toilet cubicle. Following a stiff drink, Tattersall, a reformed prostitute, who claimed to have once escaped the clutches of the Yorkshire Ripper complied.
In what was described as a 'frightful chain of events' a further six customers succumbed to pre-existing medical conditions, and 'popped their clogs' on the premises the very same day. With bodies piling up in his pub at an unprecedented rate, Philpott was left emotionally unable to cope.
Under cross examination, Philpott told the court that he'd worried that the hotpot had done for his customers, and that had he reported the first case to the authorities the pub would be closed down, and he'd miss out on the lucrative weekend trade, whereby fat jolly mini-skirt wearing Yorkshire lasses with corned beef legs and raucously obscene laughter, traditionally spend 'huge amounts of hard earned wedge' in pursuit of pasty faced ne'er do wells, in search of what has been described as 'a damned good seeing to'. He claimed it was 'plain rotten luck' that a further six customers had clocked out permanently.
Philpott apologised to the court, adding: 'When that last bloke told me he was dying for a piss, I thought, Oh no, not again. I couldn't believe it when he did.'
On passing sentence, Judge Edmond Cooper told Philpott that his actions were unforgivable, adding: 'You took the phrase "Dying for a pint" to a whole new level. On the plus side, at least you didn't fiddle about with the deceased. Unlike some I could mention, but won't, because the deceased cigar smoking paedo still has friends in high places. Not heaven, I hasten to add. As a practicing Christian. Take him down.'