Police lose court bid to reduce bar hours

A HULL nightspot has won a legal battle to continue serving alcohol until 4.30am, despite being labelled the city's most violent bar by police.

Humberside Police took Shine Bar and Hull City Council to court to appeal against the authority's recent decision to grant a late licence to the bar in Jameson Street.

Although police did not object to the bar having a licence, they appealed against it being able to serve alcohol until 4.30am at weekends and suggested it should be forced to stop serving at 11.30am.

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Officers claimed a reduction in the licensing hours would result in fewer violent incidents.

Pc Gavin Davie, of Humberside Police's licensing department, told Hull Magistrates' Court victims had been left with broken jaws and fractured skulls and eye sockets.

He said: "Crime and disorder has continued to increase at Shine since the licence was granted. It's become more and more violent.

"Shine Bar is the most violent premises in the city without a shadow of a doubt."

But the officer was criticised for not being able to put his claim into context by comparing crime at the bar with other nightspots in the city centre.

The owners of Shine Bar refuted the officer's claims and told the court they would be forced to close the bar if their licensing hours were reduced because their busiest times are between 3am and 5am at weekends.

Owner Melanie Wright said: "It would close the bar down. We don't want to be working until 5am, but our main customers want to be drinking between 3am and 5am."

Magistrates had to decide whether the council's licensing committee was right when it made the decision to grant the licence and, if so, whether it would have come to the same decision having heard evidence about crime at the bar since the licence was granted in March.

They had the power to either alter the conditions on the licence, refer it back to the council's licensing committee or take no action and dismiss the appeal.

Chairman of the bench Christopher Fenwick ruled the council was right to have granted the new licence.

He said: "We believe the city council, even after hearing all the new evidence, would have granted the application and it would not have been wrong. Therefore the appeal is dismissed."

After the hearing, co-owner Chris East said: "It was the right decision, we are very happy."