Decision on Worthing nightclub’s licence deferred

The club's licence is subject to a review SUS-171024-162513001
The club's licence is subject to a review SUS-171024-162513001

A decision on a Worthing nightclub’s premises licence following concerns raised by police over a series of assaults and an underage girl taking drugs has been deferred.

Worthing Borough Council members were set to decide if to revoke the licence of One Club, also known as Liquid & Oxygen, in Chatsworth Road, on Thursday (November 2).

But David Dadds, the barrister representing the business, successfully argued for an adjournment as information requested from Sussex Police had been received at too short notice.

The council’s Licensing and Control Committee B is set to hear the review of the premises licence, which was instigated by Sussex Police, on Monday November 27.

This comes weeks after the club’s owners Peter Mott and Barry Wells were stripped of their licence for the Molotov Cocktail and Vodka Bar next door, a decision which has been appealed.

Paul High, chair of the committee, explained that councillors considered the ‘short notice in providing information by the applicant [police] to the respondents does not give the respondents a reasonable amount of time to consider that information, therefore the committee takes the view that a short adjournment is necessary’.

Mr Dadds argued that while some requested material had been provided by police at the last minute, other information had not been received at all.

He said: “It’s completely unfair, it’s not the way to behave, it’s not open and transparent, it’s not professional. We should not tolerate it and you should not as members.”

Peter Savill, the barrister representing Sussex Police, suggested that the information requested but not provided was either not relevant to proceedings or not information police kept.

Numerous incidents relating to heavily intoxicated customers are documented by police since November 2016.

They included a callout on December 17 when a man was struck in the face, resulting in a fractured nose, two black eyes, a cut to his forehead and damage to his ear and teeth.

Police queried why the manager had driven him to hospital without reporting the incident to the authorities.

In April, an underage girl was believed to have taken the drug MDMA after being allowed into the club, where she then suffered a seizure.

Officers said the vulnerable girl had been ‘removed from the premises having received no medical attention and left in the street’.

Discrepancies in incident logs and missing staff training records were also subject of criticism.

The issues left police with ‘no confidence’ in the owners ‘having the ability to run a safe premises’.

They said the latest incidents had a ‘disturbing similarity’ to those discussed at a review of the club’s licence in 2012.

September’s review hearing saw Mr Wells insist Molotov was ‘well-run’ despite issues, which police said included failing to provide a duty of care to a drunk woman who died seven days after a fall soon after leaving the venue.

Vino Vijayakumar, the new designated premises supervisor for the club, said: “We are working with the licensing authorities to address their concerns.”