Manchester Factory 251 nightclub's licence reinstated

  • Published
Media caption,

Footage showed two men being attacked outside the venue

A nightclub where a rugby player was attacked outside has been allowed to keep its licence as long as it commits to a set of conditions.

Door staff at Manchester's Factory 251 were sacked after St Helens academy player Joe Sharratt, 18, was attacked and suffered a serious head injury.

The club's licence was later suspended but a council committee has now ruled it can be reinstated.

Bouncers will be required to wear body cameras as part of the agreement.

Manchester City Council's decision to suspend the club's licence came after footage emerged of the 2 December attack on Mr Sharratt.

Image source, St Helens RFC
Image caption,
Joe Sharratt was seriously injured in the attack

He was knocked unconscious and lay on the floor as his friend, Leon Cooper, also 18, was repeatedly punched.

Seven people arrested in connection with the incident were later bailed pending further inquiries.

The council's licensing committee said the club must hire a new security company with accredited door staff, while an "independent auditor" will oversee the venue and ensure staff are fully trained.

There will also be "mystery shopper-style" visits to the venue to ensure it is complying with the conditions.

Great Manchester Police had previously said it believed the venue was "either incompetent" or involved in a "cover-up" of the incident, which was not reported to them.

Put through the mill

However, the force's representative, PC Alan Isherwood, said further talks with managers suggested the matter was "not as serious as it first appeared" and the club believed police would have been automatically alerted by the ambulance service.

PC Ishwerwood said: "We believe the proportionate course of action would be to allow the premises to continue to keep its licence with these conditions in place."

He added that the club had been "put through the mill" and police were "as confident as we can be" that any issues would be addressed.

"It is not a position that has been reached in haste," he said. "We have scrutinised everything that has been sent to us and spoken to the premises at length."

Committee chairman Carmine Isherwood said what happened outside the club was "extremely serious" but police were now satisfied it was "appropriate" to lift the suspension with conditions.

The committee ruled that the suspension could be lifted in 21 days, once the club had had the chance to put all the changes in place.

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