Presentation by the Licensing Officer
The Sub-Committee was informed that this was an application for a review of the current premises licence. The Sub-Committee’s attention was drawn to chapters 2, 3, 9, 10 and 11 of the Statutory Guidance, and to Sections 1, 5 and 10 of the Statement of Licensing Policy, as the ones particularly relevant to this application. The options available to the Sub-Committee were set out in paragraph 6.1 of the report on page 59.
Mr Ola Owojori, Licensing Officer informed Members that:
· This was an application for a review of the current premises licence at IBEX Venue Restaurant and Hall, 211 Clapham Road London SW9 0QH.
· The application was brought by the Metropolitan Police following alleged breaches of COVID-19 regulations and two representations were received in support of the review application, from the Licensing Authority and Public Protection Team.
· Body Cam footage had been provided by the Police and was available for the Sub-Committee to view.
· Representing the applicant was PC David Watson and representing the Licensing Authority was Bina Patel and therehere was no representation from Public Protection in attendance.
· Representing the license holder was Mr David Dadds and he was accompanied by the licensee, Mr Dominic Musse.
In response to questions from Members, the applicant PC Dave Watson confirmed:
· He was representing PC Mike Constable who was not present, and correspondence between PC Constable and Mr Dadds may have been missed by him.
· It was not the intention of the Metropolitan Police to withdraw the prosecution at the Magistrates Court for the alleged offences and it was the services intention to proceed with the prosecution relating to the incident and this premises.
At this point in proceedings, the Chair proposed to adjourn the meeting for the reason that it was inappropriate of the Sub-Committee to make a decision in relation to the review application as that would require them to adjudicate on facts before a criminal court had heard this matter, and because evidence may come before the Sub-Committee that may later be required in prosecution proceedings.
At this point in proceedings, Ms Selina Wiafe, Prosecutions Lawyer, advised the Chair that he was within his powers to adjourn the meeting, considering that the prosecution proceedings were to go ahead.
Mr David Dadds, representing the License Holder, Daniel Musse. said that:
· He agreed with the adjournment and had appealed the alleged breach.
· He had made four submissions to the Magistrates Court and was informed that the prosecution had been withdrawn and this was sent to the Metropolitan Police.
· The Licensing Authority had not known that the Metropolitan Police had withdrawn the prosecution. Papers had since been issued again that the license holder would have to appeal which was seen in his submissions as an abuse of process.
· This had caused considerable stress for the License Holder and wanted to assure the Sub-Committee that PC Mike Constable had visited the premises and was satisfied with the CCTV.
· Mr Dadds urged the Metropolitan Police to review the allegations and withdraw the prosecution at a later stage as it was not in the public interest to pursue this review of the premises license.
The Chair then urged the Metropolitan Police to apply for a review of the current licence when all criminal proceedings had been terminated and to consider whether it remained in the public interest to continue with the review application, as adjourning the application was causing considerable problems for the Licence Holder.
At this point in proceedings, the meeting was adjourned due to the reasons as detailed above. The Sub-Committee agreed to address the application once these issues were resolved at the Sub-Committee meeting on 20 May 2022.