POLICE have accused a foster parent of being regularly drunk and running a pub blighted by violence.

But Dorian O'Connor, landlord of the Brickmaker's Arms, Yorkshire Street, Burnley, denied the claims and said all the children they had fostered over six years had "loved staying with them".

Mr O'Connor today faces the council's licensing committee where the pub could lose its licence.

And now it has been revealed that the police's concerns over Mr O'Connor had prompted bosses of Lancashire County Council's Fostering Service to launch an investigation into whether the couple should continue to be approved as foster carers.

Mr O'Connor and his wife Jean, of Gainsborough Avenue, Burnley, foster a 17-year-old girl.

Police, in a report to Burnley Council, made the following claims about the Brickmaker's Arms:.

* 18 reported incidents of serious disorder and violent crime in a year at the pub.

* heroin and ecstasy were readily available in the pub.

* Mr O'Connor has little or no control of the premises, is regularly found to be extremely intoxicated and has no respect for licensable hours of premises.

* there had been reports of fights of up to 30 people, with one man allegedly set on fire by other customers after falling asleep.

* underage drinking had been taking place at a under 18s night.

Mr O'Connor said: "I don't know where they have got all this information from. It is all hearsay.

"We have not seen any evidence.

"Nothing every happened in the pub. The police did not even come to inform us.

"The first we heard of it was when the council came down and stuck a notice on the door."

Mrs O'Connor said: "We have not served alcohol to underage children.

"We had a disco for children. That is why those rumours must have started but we served the children pop and the parents often came along.

"A couple of lads who were notorious lived above the pub but we were never involved in drugs and my husband doesn't even smoke.

"We have been trying to get out of the licence for a year anyway but were told we would have to pay for the remainder for the rest of the 10 years."

Earlier this month the couple were singled out for praise by the county council for fostering children with challenging behaviour.

The county council listed their details in an advert in our sister paper The Citizen which promoted an event at Colne Library for would-be foster carers.

It said: "Meet East Lancashire's foster carers. Jean and Dorian, (50s, Burnley, married with grown up children) teenagers with challenging behaviour. They foster children. Could you? Want to know more? Come along to Colne Library."

A spokesman for the county council said Mr and Mrs O'Connor were not present at the event and were just used to promote it.

Mrs O'Connor said: "We are going to give fostering when the girl turns 18. We are turning 60. We have six children and nine grandchildren and just want a quiet life really.

"All the children we have had loved staying with us. The girl said she doesn't want to go.

"We have been very annoyed and upset by what is happening."

County Coun Marcus Johnstone, cabinet member for children and young people, said an investigation had now been launched into "the circumstances of the O'Connors' continuing approval as foster carers".

He said: "The O'Connors have been approved carers of a 17-year old young person for the last four years.

"The police had not made us aware of the concerns outlined in their report to the Burnley Licensing Sub-Committee. The O'Connors had advised us of their intention to resign as carers in December 2007, when the young person in their care reaches her 18th birthday."

In a report to Burnley Council's Licensing sub-committee, officers said there had been 18 reported incidents of serious disorder and violent crime in a year at the pub.

It said: "The designated premises supervisor (Mr O'Connor) has little or no control of the premises, he is regularly found to be extremely intoxicated, has no respect for the licensable hours of the premises and sells alcohol well beyond those hours.

"It has come to police attention that there is under-age drinking taking place in the premises and that an under-18s night is being held on Wednesday nights.

"There are also reports of drug dealing taking place at the premises, and that heroin and ecstasy tablets are readily available."

The report also details allegations of fights involving up to 30 people, and one man allegedly being set alight by other customers after falling asleep drunk.

Coun Pat Case, opposition spokesperson on the Children's and Young Person's Service, said: "The county council is reponsible for selecting foster carers and It is absolutely right that the child directorate launches an investgation into the matter in the interests of protecting the child.

"Our concern would be to ensure the child is in a safe place."