Bar where man had his ear bitten off is shut for month
A UNION Street bar has been closed down for a month after police raised concerns over violence – including a man having his ear bitten off.
The Venue was given notice of the expedited review by Plymouth City Council's licensing committee on Friday.
Legal representatives at yesterday's hearing told Plymouth City Council's licensing sub-committee that within 48 hours of The Venue being given notice of the expedited review another violent crime had occurred at the premises.
Devon and Cornwall Police's legal representative, Graham Watson, noted there had been a number of incidents at the club.
Pre book your Fathers Day Lunch and Receive a Complimentary Beer for "dad". 2 Courses for £13.50 or 3 Courses for £16. A Choice of our Fantastic Roast Dinners and a Choice of Starter and Desserts.
Terms: Only 2 people per voucher. 12pm-3pm.
Contact: 01752 254879
Valid until: Monday, June 10 2013
He said on June 30, a 23-year-old man was attacked and left with cuts. He claimed the matter had not been reported to the police by the club and the injured man was then ejected from the premises.
On August 5 he noted how an individual was attacked by a man and a woman outside The Venue while he was talking to door staff.
Mr Watson said CCTV footage showed door staff with arms crossed and argued the door supervisor did not do enough to intervene. Again he accused the club of not contacting police.
The hearing was told that on September 23 a 22-year-old man was attacked while at the bar and his ear was bitten off.
Mr Watson said the incident resulted in the request to the committee for the expedited review.
However, as reported in yesterday's herald, Sunday morning saw another assault in the club in which a serviceman was attacked by three men in the male toilets, leaving him with a broken jaw.
Mr Watson said that since the bar had opened police had been aware of 19 offences of violent crime.
He said the "catalogue of violence" was of concern due to the "escalation of assaults", a "lack of intervention by door staff" as well as a "failure to report matters to police."
Danny Robinson, who described himself as the club's promoter, told the committee that during the incident on August 5 the club was actually shut and while the doorstaff were "slow" to intervene, they did apprehend the suspects.
He said he personally dealt with the customer whose ear was bitten off, noting how the man had refused treatment and had instead insisted on getting another drink from the bar. Mr Robinson said that while he got a bag of ice and retrieved the ear the man had left the club.
He blamed the security firm employed by the club, adding that they had been given notice, but continued to work this last weekend as another firm had not yet signed up to take over.
Councillor Eddie Rennie, committee chair, asked Mr Robinson why he was dealing with these incidents and not the Designated Premises Supervisor Tom Yabsley or the security staff.
Mr Robinson said he was often in the club and lived above the premises.
Following deliberation, the committee agreed with the police application and immediately suspended the licence.
A full hearing will be held in around four weeks time to determine whether the club's licence should be completely revoked.
Following the meeting, Mr Robinson and manager Stefan Williams released a joint statement saying: "We feel sorry for the staff that have been put out of work and would like to thank our loyal customers who have stood by us through thick and thin.
"We will be contesting the application by police to revoke the licence at the full hearing."
A police spokesman said: "We will be going to the full review hearing where we will ask for the licence to be revoked."