Lancashire

Boys' fight club in Preston retains licence

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Media captionA spokesman for Lancashire Police said the fight did not break any laws and was not subject to a criminal investigation

A Lancashire social club which staged a fight between two eight-year-old boys in a cage breached its licence, councillors have said.

But Preston City Council ruled the club could keep its licence subject to new conditions.

It followed film which appeared on the internet of two boys wrestling in front of an adult audience at Greenlands Labour Club in Preston on 10 September.

It must give 21 days notice of any event involving children under 10.

The video showed the youngsters fighting without complete protective padding and headgear.

The council's licensing sub-committee met earlier to review the club's licence.

No criminal investigation

The council's deputy leader, John Swindells, a member of the licensing authority who called for the review, said he was "appalled" by the footage and was concerned about the potential for harm to the children.

Greenlands club owner Michelle Anderson said after the meeting: "We are very pleased with this decision.

"They have confirmed that we can hold similar events in the near future which promote healthy sporting events in the city."

She said: "The children were not doing cage fighting, they were just grappling. There was no punching, kicking or striking.

"The event was perfectly legal. There was only one fight for kids, which was a demonstration fight. The other fights were for adults."

Lancashire Police said they had looked into the "mixed martial arts event" and found no laws had been broken so it was not subject to a criminal investigation.

Authorities and interested parties were invited to send in representations for the hearing.

There was no feedback from authorities but the council received 18 letters in support for the Chatburn Road club, many from other sporting organisations which use it regularly.

Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt described the video as "very barbaric".

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