Fri, 30 December 2022 at 4:05 pm GMT
The nightclub where a footballer died after a knife attack has had its licence suspended while Birmingham City Council reviews whether it should be closed permanently.
The council held a meeting of its licensing sub-committee on Friday after West Midlands Police said there had been “serious management failings” when officers responded to the stabbing of Cody Fisher, 23, at the Crane nightclub on Boxing Day.
The force said Mr Fisher died during “a fight on the dancefloor”, and officers who went to the club in Digbeth shortly before midnight “described a scene of chaos and evidence of drug use within the premises”.
Duncan Craig, representing Digital Arts Media Ltd, Crane’s licence-holder, said the company would not oppose a temporary suspension of its licence while the police investigated the “horrific crime”.
“I am aware that they will be asking for a suspension to the licence and, in the circumstances, I have no instructions to oppose that,” he said. “It seems wholly appropriate that we then have a 28-day period to reflect on what’s happened and to assist West Midlands Police with their enquiries.”
The meeting went into private session while West Midlands Police discussed evidence relating to the murder investigation.
After the private session, Cllr Diane Donaldson told the meeting that the licensing sub-committee had decided to suspend Crane’s licence for 28 days pending the full review hearing.
“Such a review is to be held within 28 days of receiving a chief officer of the police’s application. You’ll be notified of the full written decision of the sub-committee, with the reasons, within the time limit,” she said.
In documents submitted to the sub-committee by Superintendent Sally Simpson, an unnamed sergeant said the club’s security guards asked officers to help them with crowd control after the stabbing, while other “oblivious” staff were “wandering around all over the place” and began cleaning up the crime scene.
“They started to clean the dancefloor further down from where the deceased was. Officers shouted at them to stop,” said the sergeant.
“While officers are doing CPR, you can see people are just wandering around the scene freely. As soon as we had more officers on scene they were removed, and the whole dancefloor was cordoned off and the area made sterile.
“There were hundreds of small drugs bags and nitrous oxide canisters all over the dancefloor. These include the small and the very large nitrous oxide canisters with balloons.”
Mr Fisher’s football club, Stratford Town FC, said it had postponed its forthcoming match against Bromsgrove Sporting FC “as a mark of respect for Cody’s family and friends and in recognition of the significant emotions within Stratford Town Football Club”.
Mr Fisher had previously played for Bromsgrove Sporting before transferring to Stratford Town.