The owner of Vibez 924 in Oldham has lost his appeal to have the premises licence re-instated following a three-day court hearing.
Oldham's Licensing Panel originally revoked the licence in February after following a request for review by the police.
That panel heard that there had been several incidents at the Yorkshire Street club, culminating in a man with two meat cleavers entering the premises, waving them around inside, before leaving. There were additional concerns about poor managment by owner Henry Okere, and further critism of the security staff on the door of the premises and their failure / inability to deal with incidents.
The court was shown CCTV footage of several incidents of fighting and violence outside the club.
Miss Leila Ghahhary, representing the council, told the latest hearing at Tameside Magistrates’ Court which finished on 26 September that Oldham MBC officers and the police had spent a lot of time with Mr Okere attempting to steer him in the right direction and advising him of changes required. These changes did not happen.
The appellant's representative, informed the court that changes could be made and that the business could be remodelled if the owner was given a chance.
However, the Magistrates dismissed the appeal finding that Greater Manchester Police were right to bring the review and that Oldham MBC had made the right decision in revoking the licence.
The court stated they had little confidence in Mr Okere’s proposals for the future of his business and were not re-assured by his operating model. If they were to allow the appeal there would likely be a repeat of crime and disorder at the club and the public would be placed at risk.
Councillor Arooj Shah, Cabinet Member for Social Justice and Communities, said:
“We want people to come into Oldham town centre at night for a good time not to be concerned for their safety. We’re pleased that the club is going to remain closed as there were too many incidents of violence there and public safety was being put at risk. Any club, or pub, needs to be managed effectively. If they aren’t then we will take action as this court case shows.”
Mr Okere was ordered to pay the council £4,000 in costs.
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At Gepp Solicitors, our expert solicitor Gemma Lee can advise you on all aspects concerning your licence and provide advice on appeals as well as represent you at a Crown Court or Magistrates Court, should the matter continue to Court.
This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.