Wolverhampton nightclub linked to stabbing to reopen

The Outback, in Queen Street, had its licence suspended earlier this month following recommendations made by West Midlands Police. Officers were called to the venue in the early hours of January 26 following reports of a stabbing in the street outside. The victim had suffered three stab wounds to the back.

Police arrested four men on suspicion of serious assault, three of whom were known to be affiliated with a Wolverhampton gang. Only the victim and his friends had been inside the nightclub earlier. An application for a review of the licence of The Outback was held at the Civic Centre on Friday.

A consultant on behalf of the venue, Jake Flanagan, met with police and reached an agreement that a number of changes would be made. These include that the current manager Abdul Matli would step down from all licensable activities but would remain the leaseholder and business owner, to operate door security in conjunction with another nearby business Banjul.

Advertising The venue has also agreed to notify police of any notable incidents occurring on a weekly basis, to operate to a defined search policy, to use link radios, install two additional CCTV cameras on the front of the building and complete a risk assessment for every weekend and bank holiday it is open to the public for the police.

The committee decided that the premises will adjust its hours to end 'licensable activities' at 4am rather than 6am. PC Michelle Churm, of West Midlands Police, said: "From looking at the CCTV in detail the officer and I have also seen a patron leaving messing about in his pocket, taking out what we believe is a knife and that person had come from inside Outback. I can't say if he is involved in what happened to the injured party."

PC Churm also said that the artist that performed on the night was wanted by Metropolitan Police.

Advertising She added: "The incident occurred we believe because of a particular artist attending Outback, it was advertised all over Facebook. He is deemed at risk and he will always be deemed at risk in Wolverhampton.

"We believe that the venue could open again and be profitable and being jobs." But Mr Flanagan disputed that any knife was inside the premises and said that a knife arch was used effectively. He also said the artist walked past police after performing and then went on to perform at the O2 the next night in front of 20,000 people.

He added: "I believe that a very popular and very suitable artist made a last minutes decision that he wanted to perform at the venue and we noticed the police on the Friday. "On that night there was a similar act taking place at another premises but he failed to arrive and that led to disorder throughout the town and young men roaming the city centre. "It's not as a result of any omission on our part that the coming together of these two parties happened in Queen Street."

Elaine Morton, from the licensing authority, said putting conditions in place would "go a long way to being able to justify it being open".

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