Club loses licence after party murder

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A SHEFFIELD venue where a man was stabbed to death at a New Year party has been stripped of its licence.

Sheffield Council’s licensing board decided to revoke Stars and Mayfair Suites’ licence after hearing police concerns about the event at which Joshua Green, aged 27, was murdered.

Councillors were also told of five previous incidents during which police were called to the venue in preceding months.

But bosses of the Queen’s Road premises have pledged to appeal and said there had been no previous serious incidents in the venue’s 15-year history.

Licensee Nigel Thompson said they asked for police advice before holding events including the party at which Mr Green was killed and were not told of intelligence that partygoers could be serious criminals.

In a submission to the licensing board, police said they were concerned the club was holding events where ‘known serious organised crime members’ were present.

Supt Martin Hemingway, of South Yorkshire Police, told the hearing yesterday there ‘wasn’t a huge amount of co-operation’ between management and police on the night of the murder.

He was concerned that despite making changes after incidents including an assault in which a man was glassed, management had been ‘unable to stop the fatality happening’.

Coun Clive Skelton, a member of the licensing board, said police had been ‘reasonable’ to suspend the club’s licence after Mr Green’s death. The board felt the police had provided sufficient evidence for the licence to be revoked.

Coun Skelton said Stars and Mayfair can reopen during the 21 days it has to lodge an appeal - and continue trading until the appeal is heard.

Mr Thompson said: “We are appealing. The decision is deeply disproportionate - we have operated trouble-free for 15 years and had only two incidents in the latter part of 2011.

“We were not supported by police.”