Brentwood nightclub has licence revoked

A Brentwood nightclub has had its licence revoked after a ‘mass brawl’ at the premises during a 14th birthday party led to its third review since 2016.

CCTV footage surrendered to the police demonstrated the manager’s “failure to cooperate” with the authorities and compliance with conditions which had previously been imposed.

On June 16, bloc40 was reserved for a private 14th birthday party which was due to finish at 9pm. However, the footage taken from security cameras shows the event was still “well under way” past this time.

Licence holder Ahmet Melin’s has insisted that any alcohol on site was taken off display and stored securely, and that the private nature of the event meant that the license was not ‘engaged’ while the party was happening.

However, the CCTV footage shows a number of teenage boys jumping over the bar in order to obtain bottles of spirits to use as weapons.

The report from the premises licence review by Essex Police and Brentwood Council’s licensing sub-committee on August 30 said: “During the melee, Mr Melin was knocked to the floor and broke his shoulder.

“It is apparent from the footage that there were insufficient staff present to manage the situation and it is clear that (Mr Melin) completely lost control of the incident.

“The fight then spilled out of the premises and into the High Street, with no visible attempt by (Mr Melin) to restore order or, at least, to safeguard the children not directly involved in the brawl.

The report surmised that although revoking bloc40’s licence was reserved as a last resort, this “shocking and horrific incident of violence”, and Ahmet Melin’s subsequent lack of co-operation with authorities leading to a delay to the CCTV footage being surrendered to Essex Police meant that he “could no longer be trusted to operate the premises consistently with the licensing objectives.

“Therefore revocation was the only appropriate option”.

Councillors Chrissy Gelderbloem (Con Brizes & Doddinghurst), Nicky Cuthbert (Lib Dem Shenfield) and Hugh Gorton (Lib Dem Ingatestone, Fryerning and Mountnessing) all noted in the report that Mr Melin’s reluctance to directly engage with Essex Police and councillors attending the sub-committee meeting proved that there was “little indication that he had any remorse for what had happened or insight into why things had gone wrong”.

bloc40 was contacted for comment.

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Emma Doyle

Local Democracy Reporter