Hotel owner denies serving drinks to teenage roof jumper

HERITAGE Hotel owner Will Fowles defended his staff yesterday after Rockhampton Magistrate Barry Cosgrove questioned whether the hotel had breached its service-of-alcohol responsibilities.

Magistrate Cosgrove had been referring to the infamous leap by James Zerk, who jumped from the second-storey of the Heritage Hotel on August 4, causing $3900 damage to the roof.

In yesterday's paper, it was reported by police prosecutor Joe Aboud that a Heritage Hotel employee saw Zerk climbing onto the balcony rail and filmed him on a mobile phone.

Mr Fowles contacted The Morning Bulletin yesterday to say the person recording the incident was, in fact, an employee of another establishment.

He also said hotel employees did not serve Zerk alcohol that night because he was being entertained by friends on the upper accommodation floor off the premises.

He said Zerk had hired a room at the hotel and his friends had supplied the alcohol.

"If any of our staff had seen the incident they would have notified security ... they would have been up there in an instant," Mr Fowles said.

"These allegations are incorrect.

"No staff member served him alcohol."

Mr Cosgrove ordered Zerk pay $2000 restitution and fined him $100.



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