A victim suffered ‘life changing’ injuries after he had three quarters of his ear bitten off following an unlicensed boxing event at a Darlington venue. Police were called to The Majestic, on Bondgate, on October 21 to an incident of ‘violent disorder’ involving several people, a Darlington Borough Council meeting heard.
A man was later arrested and an investigation into the assault and associated disorder is ongoing. Officials at the local authority have now imposed changes to the venue’s licence and ordered it to reapply for certain conditions.
The premises licence was suspended and John Lyall Thompson was removed as Designated Premises Supervisor as interim measures in the 48 hours after the incident. It came after members of Darlington Borough Council’s licensing committee were shown CCTV footage of the incident during an emergency meeting.
An outcome to the police investigation is pending. The latest meeting on Wednesday (November 15) heard how police have worked closely with Hayley Warters, a company director at the Majestic, to discuss changes to its licence since the initial review.
Mrs Warters told members that more staff training and risk assessments will be carried out following the incident and more licence holders will be on site to ensure the safety of people attending. Licensing officers approved plans to cut the venue’s closing hours from 3am to 1am.
Children will be allowed to remain at the venue until 10pm, when accompanied by an adult, but will not be allowed to attend any sporting events. A new Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS) will also need to be appointed before it can sell alcohol again.
Licensing committee chairman, Cllr Kevin Nicholson, said: “Members have decided to reinstate your licence, with conditions attached. We are aware you will need a DPS in place before you can start selling alcohol again and members feel the conditions satisfy our concerns in relation to our licensing objectives.”
The venue was the former home of the art deco Odeon Cinema that became a snooker club in 1986. The snooker facilities closed in 2014 and was later known as Magic and Mayhem before becoming the Majestic in 2015.
Following the licensing meeting, Mrs Warters said: “I am very pleased with the outcome and we highly appreciate the help and support we received. The officers of Darlington have been very professional and approachable. This has given us confidence to ensure safety within our building for the public and our staff.”
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