An elderly Filey hotelier who accepted a booking for “an office Christmas party” walked in on a no-holds-barred sex show with the audience buying raffle tickets for the chance to go off with one of the girls.
Horrified Keith Denham, 69, owner of the Three Tuns in Filey, said it was too late to stop the display of nudity, sex acts, and “audience participation” – and he could not risk getting between the naked women and 40 boozed-up builders.
The raffle tickets were drawn out of a beer glass and the winners were taken into a private room next to the bar by the young blonde and brunette who “were the dancers for want of a better word,” Scarborough magistrates heard.
The “gentlemen’s evening” took place in front of up to 40 baying builders at the Three Tuns Hotel.
Police, who had been tipped off that the hotel might be in breach of its licence, arrived to find the doors locked and curtains drawn.
A notice saying “private party” was on the front door and the officers could get no reply from inside, the court heard.
But the police went back the following morning and seized CCTV footage of the evening, 13 days before Christmas last year.
The three magistrates – one male and two female – sat stony faced as a 30-minute video of the performance was played in court.
It showed a brunette wearing only high heels and black stockings allowing herself to be touched by members of the audience.
Later she staged a sex show with a young blonde, cheered on by the crowd.
Both women were shown wandering around touting tickets for a raffle drawn at the end of the evening by a man with a microphone.
PC Debbie Cooper said: “Girls were being raffled. The girls were selling tickets.
“The raffle tickets were pulled out of a pint glass later and the girls went into a different part of the pub with the winners.”
Mr Denham told police the do had been arranged by a local building firm who assured him the sex workers were “just go go dancers”.
He said: “The event was held in all innocence with no knowledge of what was to happen.
“I have never had an event of this kind and would never do so again. Why would I be so stupid as to put my livelihood and licence in jeopardy?”
He said when he popped out the bar earlier in the evening the dancers were “dressed scantily in tops”.
He added: “At 10.40pm when I walked back in there was a girl there with nothing on.
“I said ‘What the ---- is going on?”
He said by then the audience of “very wide heavy built” construction workers had been drinking and their mood was “volatile”.
He added: “If I had stepped in at that stage there would have been mayhem.”
PC Cooper told the court a buffet had been laid out in a small room behind a side-door to the bar.
She continued: “The ladies were taking some of the gentlemen into this room after the raffle.
“These were the raffle winners.”
Police described the video footage as containing “full nudity and sex acts”. The hotelier agreed “it was absolutely appalling”.
He had a pair of elderly guests staying upstairs. But the couple were in bed by 8pm and did not see anything, he added.
There was also a 16-year-old girl working on the premises to help the chef prepare the buffet, he said.
Prosecutor Martin Hawes said the show was “best described as sexually explicit in nature involving customer participation and full nudity.”
He said when confronted by police, Mr Denham “claimed not to know what exotic dancers were”.
The court heard a ban on adult entertainment was a condition of the license following previous problems at the hotel.
But the rule did not apply if an event was a private party.
Mr Denham denied carrying on an unauthorised licensable activity and the case was dismissed.
Ed Cunnah, defending, successfully argued there was no case to answer because the “dancers for want of a better word” had been performing at a private function.