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SECURITY MEASURES: Late night bar where man was killed can continue trading

SECURITY MEASURES: Late night bar where man was killed can continue trading

An urgent licence review is set to take place for the Luxe Lounge in Bolton town centre, Image: LDRS

A late night bar in Bolton where a man was killed last month can continue trading after an emergency licence review heard that additional security measures had been introduced.

A panel of councillors examined the premises licence of the Luxe Lounge, Bradshawgate, Bolton, after an incident in the early hours of September 2 when father-of-two Robert Smethurst, 36, tragically lost his life.

Following the incident Greater Manchester Police applied for a summary review of a premises licence of Luxe Lounge, which has a late alcohol licence until 3.30am.

A licensing panel meeting was held last week and Bolton Council has now published its decision.

The council’s report reads: “Submissions were put forward on behalf of Greater Manchester Police and referred to the incident that had occurred at the venue at approximately 1.30am on Thursday, September 2 where two men had been assaulted resulting in serious bodily harm to one and the death of another.”

PC Brookfield explained that he had held discussions with the licence holder Macauley Stephens immediately after the incident, and he had expressed a willingness to assist the police in any way he could.

“PC Brookfield advised that since the initial hearing, he had held several meetings with the owner who had displayed genuine concern in relation to the
incident and had demonstrated a keenness to work with the police and the licensing authority to ensure there would not be a repeat of this incident in the future,” the report said.

“He stated that following their discussions, Mr Stephens had already put various measures in place to increase security.

“He had directed his door staff to utilise hand-held metal detector wands when customers were entering the premises which would help to identify and seize any concealed objects under clothing and had agreed to install an extra CCTV camera which covered the side street of the premises, Princess Street.

“A recent visit to the venue by the police had revealed that the premises were operating responsibly.”

Mr Stephens told the meeting he had been operating the premises since March 2020 and had no previous incidents.

He assured councillors he was a responsible licence holder and that staff at the premises had followed all the correct procedures before and after the incident.

The panel added conditions to the licence in line with the measures already introduced at the Luxe Lounge in the past month.

Last week a man admitted the unlawful killing but denies the murder of Robert Smethurst at Luxe Lounge.

Robert Owen Greenhalgh, of no fixed abode, appeared at Manchester Crown Court via video link from HMP Birmingham.

He pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Mr Smethurst.

Mr Greenhalgh also pleaded guilty to assaulting and causing actual bodily harm to another man on the same date.

The 41-year-old will next appear in court on December 3, when prosecutors will confirm if they seek a trial.

Should a trial go ahead, it will begin on February 28 next year and last for five days, Judge Suzanne Goddard QC said.


Words: Chris Gee, Local Democracy Reporter

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