A TOWN centre nightclub had its licence revoked this week after a man was stabbed at a Tim Westwood DJ gig at the venue. 12-20 club, formerly known as Shooshh, in Crown Hill, Croydon, lost its licence at a Croydon Council licensing sub-committee hearing on Monday (May 19). Police had recommended the revocation of the licence after a stabbing at the club during the three-hour Westwood set in the early hours of Easter Monday. Gary Grant, the Metropolitan Police's legal representative, stated that officers had "no confidence" in the ability of the club's owner, Luke Mayle, to run the club properly. However, Mr Mayle's counsel David Dadds argued that officers had not properly informed the club of previous violent incidents which took place at other Westwood gigs in London. The committee hearing had been called after the incident on April 21 in which a 26-year-old man was stabbed at the club, provoking what police called "mass disorder" to break out outside the busy venue. Mr Grant told the committee police had since found out the night had been attended by "well-known violent criminals, well-known to the police's gangs unit" and that gang members were targeting the venue because it was a "weak link" in the town's club scene. The sub-committee also heard representations from the police about the club's poor security measures such as a lack of ID checks and body scans. They said CCTV showed a man had walked through the club with a knife visible and was not apprehended by security. When questioned by the sub-committee chair Councillor Maria Gatland about his attitude to the four key licensing objectives, Mr Mayle said the hired security had not carried out their jobs properly and were to blame for the disorder. In a report compiled by council licensing officer Stephen Moore, he states that when he visited the club on April 19, door staff had been wearing combat fatigues and body armour. He goes on to point out this is something he had not seen in Croydon for seven years. One of the club's main lines of defence was regarding a police check of the premises just an hour or so before the stabbing incident occurred. Four officers visited the club at approximately 12.45am, just over an hour before the incident, and the records from the visit indicated everything was fine at the venue save for a strong smell of cannabis in the VIP area. They did not order the club to close at this point but said the club would need to be revisited. Mr Mayle, who only took over the running of the club in earlier this year, did not book the event which BBC Radio One hip-hop DJ Westwood eventually played. In his defence, Mr Dadds argued the police should have provided the club with information about the previous incidents surrounding the DJ's gigs. He cited a stabbing following an event in Hounslow and questioned why the police had told Mr Mayle they considered it a 'medium-risk' event rather the highest. If police deem an event high-risk, the most likely course of action is to close it down. Mr Mayle will now appeal the revocation and the club would have remained closed for the time being anyway as the premises undergoes refurbishment. Cllr Gatland and her fellow sub-committee members Cllr Tony Pearson and Cllr Pat Clouder - after more than an hour and a half's deliberations - decided to revoke the club's licence due to a number of incidents dating back to December 2013. Cllr Gatland also said the committee had concerns about Mr Mayle's running of the club as its premises licence holder - a message echoed by Mr Grant and the police. The man stabbed on the night in question suffered a collapsed lung but did not have any life-threatening injuries. The sub-committee also heard how there had been around 20 men outside the club swinging their belts and hitting each other with them. Jetro Lopes, 20, of Lancing Road, Croydon, has been charged with attempted grievous bodily harm with intent, violent disorder and the possession of an offensive weapon.
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