Sheffield nightclub to remain closed for next four weeks in wake of mass-stabbing

Police on the Wicker, in Sheffield, where they were called after four men were found stabbed two days before Christmas
Police on the Wicker, in Sheffield, where they were called after four men were found stabbed two days before Christmas
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A Sheffield nightclub is to remain closed for the next four weeks, after police applied for a closure order to be granted in the wake of a city centre attack in which four people were stabbed and another was injured.

During a hearing held at Sheffield Magistrates' Court today, District Judge Naomi Redhouse granted a 28-day closure order that means Niche nightclub will be closed to the public until February 6, 2018.

Niche, on Walker Street, was closed by South Yorkshire Police after five men were injured following a violent altercation that erupted in the Wicker area of the city in the early hours of Saturday, December 23 last year.

The force was granted an initial 48-hour closure notice in the hours following the brawl that left four men with stab wounds and another injured.

The notice was extended by two weeks on Boxing Day, and an additional four-week closure order was granted today.

A licensing hearing concerning Niche will be held by Sheffield City Council later this month, the court was told.

The hearing will be held in order to determine if, and when, the local authority will permit Niche to re-open.

Barristers representing South Yorkshire Police and Niche came to an agreement over the terms of the order before this morning's hearing was held.

Representing Niche, Leo Charalambides, told Judge Redhouse that one such term stipulated that management staff and the club's legal team are allowed to access the premises while the closure order notice is in place 'for the purposes of general maintenance' and to gather legal documentation and logs held at the premises, ahead of the licensing hearing.

He added: "There's going to be a visit [to the premises] from us and the police as soon as we finish here."

Speaking after the hearing, Superintendent Paul McCurry said officers had applied for the closure order to be extended in order to allow information to be gathered for the licensing hearing.

He said: "We feel it needs to be closed for 28-days to hear the evidence, and for a determination on the extension of the closure order."

Commenting on the investigation into the incident, Supt McCurry said 'investigations were ongoing'.

He urged witnesses to come forward, as a police spokesman confirmed witnesses had 'not been forthcoming' so far.

Roemol Taylor, 19, of Scott Road, Pitsmoor, and Torrington Smith, 28, of Marys Walk, on St John's Road, near Park Hill,have both been charged with violent disorder in connection with the altercation.

Taylor, who has also been charged with possession of an offensive weapon, and Smith both appeared at Sheffield Magistrates' Court on Saturday, January 6, 2018.

* Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, quoting incident number 286 of December 23, 2017.