Sheffield pub allowed to remain open after balaclava-clad thugs attack punter with baseball bats

Steven Johal, who runs the Three Feathers pub, said 18 people had been barred in six months
Steven Johal, who runs the Three Feathers pub, said 18 people had been barred in six months
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A Sheffield pub where an armed attack by thugs in balaclavas was among a string of reported assaults can remain open.

But the owner of the Three Feathers, near Darnall, must comply with a raft of new regulations following a licensing hearing today.

Those include closing the doors to new customers at 11pm each night, banning children after 9pm and employing a bouncer on evenings when it hosts private parties.

Steven Johal, who has run the pub in Bowden Wood Crescent for the last five years, appeared before Sheffield Council's licensing sub-committee on Thursday morning after police requested a review.

The committee heard how on January 12 this year, three men wearing balaclavas walked into the pub and dragged a customer outside before launching a savage assault.

The attack, which left the victim seriously injured was the 11th fight or assault reported at the premises in the last 10 months.

At Wednesday's meeting, police said there had been no incidents since that day and praised Mr Johal for his cooperation.

But they raised concerns about his record-keeping and how staff at the pub had only called police on two of those 11 occasions.

Mr Johal said the pub, where there was only one police incident recorded during the whole of 2014 and 2015, had already taken steps to address the spike in disorder.

He said a new log book had been introduced to record any trouble, bookings were now only taken in person and required a £100 deposit, and staff ensured drinkers left promptly after closing by calling taxis and waiting with them outside until their ride arrived.

He also told how the closure of other pubs in the area had led to a number of troublemakers looking for a new place to drink, leading to him barring 18 people in the space of six months.

"Although there have been a number of incidents, by the time police have shown up there's never been anything for them to deal with because the situation's already been handled by staff," said Mr Johal.

"In all 11 incidents, I think only one arrest has been made. I think this shows we do manage the situation and get it sorted very quickly."

Police had asked for a long list of additional conditions to be added to the pub's licence, including an earlier closing time and an 8pm curfew for children, but councillors decided not to implement them in their entirety.

Making the case for the revised conditions, John Whittaker, representing South Yorkshire Police, had said: "The spike in incidents is of concern, but police believe they can work with Mr Johal to make sure these incidents don't reoccur and the objectives of the licensing committee can be complied with."