Kingpin’s club shut after lap dancer is dumped on street
Partially clothed woman left on road after ‘sex with customer’ row
A LAP-DANCING club owned by one of the main players in Scotland’s adult entertainment industry has been closed after a partially clothed employee was dumped unconscious on the street.
Diamonds Dolls has had its licence suspended with immediate effect after the local authority was told the dancer, dressed only in a bra and jeans and intoxicated, had been dragged from the premises by stewards following a row with management.
The venue will only be permitted to reopen when Police Scotland and licensing officials in Glasgow are satisfied it has tightened its internal procedures.
Diamond Dolls is owned by Steven MacDonald, named by three of Scotland’s most senior judges last year in a long-running Proceeds of Crime action as having engaged in fraudulent practices to buy the venue.
Mr MacDonald had not been charged with any offence and he had said the allegations against him were “without foundation”.
Glasgow’s licensing board heard police had seized the club’s CCTV system two days after first attending the incident when they were handed footage recorded by cameras at the neighbouring House of Fraser.
Police said one senior worker who described herself as a “House Madame” told them the ejected dancer had become aggressive as she “was unhappy at not being propositioned for sex by a customer”.
The board was also told that when the dancer, named as “Cherie”, had spoken with the police more than a week later she would not make a complaint because she feared retribution, while the head steward refused to comment when asked by the force what its policy was over contacting them over incidents.
Since last October’s incident a number of the stewards involved have been struck off by their industry watchdog, although their manager remains in place.
But the club’s legal representative argued the dancer was neither unconscious nor intoxicated when she was removed from the premises and had been “playing possum” to avoid police attention for earlier behaviour.
Archie Maciver denied the club’s “floor manager” was described internally as a house madam and that the initial row between the dancer and regular customer had been instigated by sexual propositions, while the steward’s comments had been taken out of context.
The lawyer added that while the club acknowledged the manner in which the dancer had been ejected fell short of what was acceptable, management had been reasonable with the female, whom they knew, beforehand, had co-operated with police and tightened management practices in the aftermath.
CCTV showed the stewards offering no assistance as members of the public called paramedics and told how Mr MacDonald, named as the company officer, had watched from an upstairs office. It later emerged that during her row with management, Cherie had armed herself with a screwdriver, with which she had damaged furniture.
In its complaint, Police Scotland said: “The female refused to provide a statement or make any form of criminal complaint to officers despite being encouraged to do so, citing fears of retribution.”
A spokesman for Glasgow Licensing Board: “The way in which Diamond Dolls handled this situation was completely unacceptable. The board was not satisfied by the assurances from the premises that a similar situation could not arise again in future.
“The premises licence will remain suspended until such time as issues with the CCTV system and training on the responsible operation of licensed premises, including conflict resolution and incident reporting, have been resolved satisfactorily.”