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Birmingham nightclub to close forever after deadly Boxing Day stabbing on dancefloor

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The Birmingham nightclub where footballer Cody Fisher was fatally stabbed on Boxing Day has been closed permanently after its operating license was revoked.

West Midlands Police said the club’s ongoing operation presented a “terrible risk” to patrons amid “coercive” and widespread drug use, and “inadequate” security measures, which allowed a knife to even enter the venue. was allowed.

The force had previously said there were “serious management failings” at the Crane site after Mr Fisher, 23, was fatally stabbed at the premises in Digbeth, Birmingham, on Boxing Day.

The club’s license was suspended for 28 days following an interim meeting held in December, but on Tuesday the Birmingham City Council Licensing Committee ordered the license revoked following an application by the police force.

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Police outside the Crane site in Digbeth following Fisher’s death

, (Birmingham Police / PA

The council also extended the existing suspension first handed down to 30 December 2022, meaning the club cannot reopen while any appeals against the decision by its operator and licensee Digital Arts Media Ltd are considered. Is.

A previous police report documented how the knife allegedly used in the attack was found on the dancefloor of the Adderley Street venue.

The report also described how responding officers found “the scene in chaos” and “evidence of drug use”.

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Security and club staff were also “oblivious” and “began clearing the dancefloor” while CPR was still being performed on Mr. Fischer.

In an oral summary of police evidence to the committee, barrister Gary Grant, representing the force, said the club’s ongoing operation poses a “terrible risk” to patrons and “serious” consequences for public safety and the prevention of crime inside the premises. Is. ,

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“That’s why the police ask you to cancel the license of the premises,” he said, adding that the evidence justified such action.

The committee was told that a license was granted for the venue over the summer, but it was only due to run through October 2022, after which it faced the most serious sanctions.

In an assessment of what he said was an “inadequate search regime”, Mr Grant said not only was a knife brought inside the club, but there were also drugs – while there was “overwhelming” use of illegal substances, which led to three people being shot. The treatment required was for an “overdose of one drug or another”.

A female patient taken away in an ambulance was said to be “dribbling … and barely breathing” before being taken to hospital.

Mr Grant said: “In just under three months, this venue here is facing a summary review, triggered by the murder of a man inside the club.

“This in itself, gives rise to the dire risks involved in operating this venue.

“On Boxing Day, Cody Fisher was tragically killed inside the venue and furthermore, when the police investigated, they learned that openly and widespread drug use inside the premises was only can be described as uncontrolled.

He said there was evidence of the use and supply of nitrous oxide, known as laughing gas, and that “hundreds of discarded drug bags, containing white powder” were found on the dance floor.

“The licensee, we say, failed to maintain the highest standards of management operations of this venue,” Mr Grant said.

Searches of patrons were “inconsistent and haphazard”, the perimeter of the venue was “unsafe”, and there was a “general impression that this was not a properly controlled event”.

Nicolas Levisser, barrister for the license holder, said that revocation of the license would be “wholly inappropriate in the circumstances”, citing the venue’s overall operational record.

However the three-member committee disagreed, returning with its decision after 90 minutes.

Three men, aged between 18 and 22, have been remanded in custody on charges of murdering Fischer.

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