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Bar keeps licence after man suffers ‘life-threatening’ injury in attack

Written by on 14/10/2020

A bar where a man was brutally attacked and left in a ‘life-threatening condition’ has kept hold of its licence after promising to adhere to stricter conditions, new security measures and a staff overhaul.

South Yorkshire Police asked DMBC to suspend the licence of the Pocket Sports Bar in Bank Street, Mexborough, after a man was attacked by a group on September 13 to which they did pending a formal hearing.

The victim was taken to hospital, had to be incubated and required ‘pressure measures’ to their head.

Lawyers representing the Doncaster bar said they had undergone ‘massive changes’ including a new ‘very experienced and established’ door team, investment in a state-of-the-art ID scanner and an overhaul of the premises to better comply with Covid-19 restrictions.

Documents seen by councillors show that on arrival at the scene, officers reported that door and bar staff on duty would ‘not provide statements’ in relation to what happened despite contacting police.

Reports also show an incident took place inside the premises and the two parties were separated but not removed from the bar.

DMBC licensing officers were also previously told by the security firm who provide door staff to the bar that they are being ‘overruled by the manager’ when security staff try to refuse certain people entry.

They added that their staff were requesting not to work at the bar for ‘fear of their safety’.

A previous incident where another man was attacked with a ‘bat or a large piece of wood’ was reported on August 29.

Management told licensing officers that ‘no one had been assaulted’ but instead was ‘taken inside the premises ‘for their own safety’

But a review of the CCTV showed a vehicle pulling up with one assailant getting out and hitting the person with the ‘large piece of wood/bat’ outside the bar in front of door staff.

Police also made representations that Covid-19 social distancing restrictions were not being adhered to since the reopening on July 4 along with reports of ‘women urinating in the street’ and loud music being played above what it allowed during the pandemic.

Following the submission by the police, DMBC’s licensing team suspended the bar’s licence on September 17 until a full hearing on October 13.

Solicitor Michelle Hazlewood of John Gaunt & Partners, representing the bar, said: “I’ve been impressed with their attitude going forward and the police are as well. They have embraced a willingness to change and improve.

“They already had plans to make changes but this has escalated the situation and they have grabbed it by the scruff of the neck and moved forward.

“The investment in the ID scanner is significant and they see it as part of the solution. They also changed the door team and hired a very experienced city centre operator.

“They’ve done this because they feel that’s what Mexborough needs – someone with experience of the sub-criminal culture, not just the lad who thinks he’s Mike Tyson after a couple of pints.

“They really have addressed the issues and this site will be very strong on its regulations and does put the pressure on for them to be at the top of their game because there are many areas where they could fall down.”

Coun Iris Beech, chair of the sub-licensing committee, said: “The committee has noted the licence holder has taken extensive measures including a change of management structure and change in door staff.

“On that basis, we have decided to modify the conditions on the premises licence.

“The committee is satisfied that the modified conditions promote the licensing objectives.”