Nightclub's licence to open is revoked

A DAMNING indictment of an Ipswich nightclub where a man was fatally wounded, has led to it having its licence to open being revoked. Despite objections from its management, Zest in Princes Street was closed by three members of the borough council's licensing committee after police asked for it to be shut indefinitely.

A DAMNING indictment of an Ipswich nightclub where a man was fatally wounded, has led to it having its licence to open being revoked.

Despite objections from its management, Zest in Princes Street was closed by three members of the borough council's licensing committee after police asked for it to be shut indefinitely.

Following the closed meeting at the council's Grafton House headquarters the councillors outlined their reasons.

Their findings primarily related to the night Jimoh Plunkett, of London, lost his life in a shooting and three others were shot, with another man stabbed.


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A council statement read: “On the night of the December 8-9, 2006, not everyone entering the premises was searched on entry with a metal detector. This was a failure of procedures and the sub-committee accept that it was in breach of assurances given to the police that everybody would be searched with metal detectors.

“At the time there were, at most, seven door supervisors on duty at the club. This was in breach of an assurance given to the police that there would be at least nine.

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“There was no way the management of Zest could have known whether they had an adequate complement of door supervisors on duty because the system of logging door supervisors was inadequate and, in any case, was not working properly.

“In the early hours of December 9, 2006, the management of Zest co-operated with the police in trying to manage the removal of people from the premises once the police took control of the scene.

“The sub-committee do not attach any blame to Zest for the trouble that occurred whilst the police were trying to preserve the scene and take witness details.

“More generally, the sub-committee find that there have been a very large number of offences and incidents linked to Zest between April 2006 and December 2006, many of them involving violence of varying degrees.

“Some of the events must have been caused or contributed to by management failings. Notwithstanding that finding, even if none of the events between April 2006 and December 2006 were linked to management failings, the sub-committee are extremely concerned about the high level of violent offending in and around the club and they feel that serious action must be taken to promote the licensing objectives of prevention of crime and disorder and promotion of public safety in the light of those statistics.

“The sub-committee feel that it would be irresponsible to allow the premises to re-open when the full facts of what happened on the December 8-9, 2006 are not known.”

Zest's owners have a right of appeal to the magistrates' court within 21 days of the date of the notification of the decision.

SUFFOLK police today welcomed the closure of Zest.

Superintendent Alan Caton said: “The murder within the Zest nightclub was a tragic and terrible incident.

“Police have had concerns regarding the club and feel it is right and proper that the application for closure was made.

“We support the licensing sub-committee's decision to revoke the licence and will await the outcome of any future appeal.

“We have had an ongoing investigation into the events of December 8 and 9 and would continue to ask anyone who was inside the nightclub that night to contact Suffolk police on 01473 613500.”

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