Licensing review on bar where cricketer was hurt
A cricketer was lucky not to lose his eye in a late-night brawl at a popular Ashford bar a police officer told a licensing hearing yesterday (Wednesday).
Sgt Gary Brimson said Lancashire county cricketer Liam Livingstone suffered three deep lacerations to his face during a brawl inside the Auction House in New Street on August 16. He was said to have been glassed in the face.
The officer was giving evidence to Ashford Borough Council’s licensing committee which was holding a full review of the town centre hotspot’s licence after police said it was linked with serious crime.
He told the committee that police had received 25 calls relating to problems at the premises between January 18 and August 1 - an average of one a week - and that was why they were asking for the licence to be reviewed.
The Auction House, in New Street, has been linked to a series of late-night incidents that have included fights and anti-social behaviour.
The incident involving several Lancashire cricketers happened as they were at the venue celebrating that day’s victory over Kent. Trouble flared and drinks and punches thrown.
Doormen from the club stepped in and took people outside before police and ambulance crews arrived.
Bar staff were praised for their “swift intervention” during the fight, but at a previous interim hearing the committee expressed concern about glass being used as an “effective weapon” and ordered the bar owners to serve all drinks in plastic glasses.
Sgt Brimson described the trouble that night as a “serious incident” and said Mr Livingstone was lucky not to lose his eye.
He told the committee: “CCTV was not available at the time and no one has been arrested in connection with it.”
The officer said if CCTV had been available it would have helped police trace the attacker.
The same night there was a fight between two women in which another glass was thrown and another man was also seriously assaulted.
Licence holder Alan Daly said he was away on holiday on the night of the incident and his staff could not access the CCTV monitor because there was a fault with the screen.
Nicholas Baldock, barrister for Mr Daly said: “The Auction House takes this incident very seriously.”
Mr Daly said continued use of plastic glasses would be detrimental to the business.
Under its current licence, The Auction House is able to play music and sell alcohol until 3am, seven days a week.
The committee’s decision on the Auction House licence had not been made as the Kentish Express went to press. Full report in next week’s paper and on our website, www.kentonline. co.uk
The Auction House Bar in New Street, Ashford