Bar forced to close after police were hurt in brawl could be shut down for good

Date published: 14 January 2020

A bar in Middleton that has been forced to temporarily close following a brawl in which two police officers were badly hurt could be shut down for good next week.

Infinity Bar had its licence suspended last month after a female officer was punched and stamped on – and her male colleague knocked unconscious – when they tried to break up a street fight near the venue.

Both officers were left in need of hospital treatment following the disturbance during the early hours of Saturday 21 December.

Several men were ejected from the Market Place bar shortly before the fracas broke out; three males have now been charged with offences in connection with the incident.

Rochdale council’s licensing sub-committee ordered the bar to close its doors for 28 days after GMP applied for a full review of its licence, citing ‘a number of incidents’ relating to the nightspot.

Its long-term future is to be decided on Monday, when the licensing sub-committee meets to consider whether to permanently revoke its licence.

The panel – which suspended the licence on 24 December – will hear evidence from the police, councillors and premises licence holder Victor Shegun Adereni.

Councillor Donna Williams, chair of Middleton Township Committee, is among those to have submitted representations to the committee.

According to a council report, Councillor Williams states there have been a ‘substantial number of complaints’ from residents regarding activities at the premises.

These are said to include selling alcohol after hours, serving people who are drunk and customers being ‘violently attacked’.

Further issues include the alleged use of drugs and concerns for the safeguarding of female customers.

Councillor Williams’ representation is supported by fellow Middleton councillors Kallum Nolan and Sara Rowbotham.

Three men have been bailed to appear at Minshull Street Crown Court on January 20, in connection with the incident on 21 December.

Jonathan Cottrell, 34, of Reesdale Road, Moston, has been charged with two counts of actual bodily harm against the officers and one count of violent disorder.

Lee Herbert, 29, of Longford Street, Heywood, has been charged with one count of actual bodily harm against one police officer and violent disorder.

Liam Baker, 23, of Gilmour Street, Middleton, has been charged with violent disorder.

None of the defendants issued a plea when they were charged at an earlier court appearance.

Rochdale council’s licensing sub-committee will meet at Number One Riverside at 10am on Monday 20 January.

Nick Statham, Local Democracy Reporter

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