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Wolverhampton nightclub loses its licence after knife attack

By Joe Sweeney | Wolverhampton | News | Published:

A Wolverhampton nightclub where a man was seriously injured after being slashed with a knife has lost its licence – following more than five hours of deliberations with police and licensing bosses.

Banjul, in Queen Street. Photo: Google Maps

Banjul, in Queen Street, formerly the Cobra Lounge, had its licence revoked indefinitely following a review hearing on Thursday, which was called for by West Midlands Police.

Sgt Steph Reynolds, from West Midlands Police, told members of the council’s statutory licensing sub-committee, that trouble flared at the club for the third time in 12 months in the early hours of October 5. The venue has been closed since.

An unnamed male was struck in the face and chest by another man with what he believes was a knife after intervening in an argument between two girls.

The injured man was treated at New Cross Hospital, where staff then contacted police.

Sgt Reynolds said: “We have made so many attempts to work with staff at the club, including liaising with solicitors acting on their behalf, and all to no avail.

"Every effort made has been met with a lack of commitment and action.

“Police felt that with it being a new venture, there was room for mediation, with a view to ensuring that incident was isolated.”

Solicitor Heath Thomas, acting on behalf of the club, had earlier requested a suspension of the licence, pending further talks.

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However, committee members eventually decided this would not be adequate enough to prevent the possibility of further trouble at the venue.

Sgt Reynolds added: “There was an incident in December 2018 when a group of known gang members tried to rush the door.

“This outcome has been our stance all along really. All our attempts to work together with the staff have been met with resistance.”

The venue first reopened as Banjul in September 2018 and police officers observed that no searches were being carried out by the club’s security firm, who were later sacked by the management.

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Designated Premises Licence holders Derek Jones and Kerry Robinson both attended the hearing.

Chairman, Councillor Alan Bolshaw (Lab. Merry Hill), said: “The council’s statutory licensing sub-committee has decided to revoke the licence on the grounds of the prevention of crime and disorder.”

Afterwards, Mr Jones said: “A lot of hard work goes on behind closed doors to keep a safe environment and it isn’t always easy.

"Obviously I’m disappointed, but this isn’t the worst thing that’s ever happened to me.”

Joe Sweeney

By Joe Sweeney
@JoeSweeneyLDR

Local Democracy Reporter covering Wolverhampton.

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