Forest Gate nightclub boss is fined

The boss of a nightclub in Forest Gate that was still letting in customers in the early hours of the morning when he shouldn’t have been has been fined a total of �1,200.

Thames Magistrates’ Court heard how Newham Council’s closed circuit television cameras saw people queuing and being admitted to Club 19/Pearl Restaurant in Upton Lane, Forest Gate, after 3am on four separate occasions in July and August 2011.

The council prosecuted Yahaya Yunusu Sengo, 47, the club’s premises licence holder and designated premises supervisor, for breaching the conditions of his premises licence. The last permitted time of entry on those dates should have been 3am.

He denied the breaches but was found guilty of four offences of allowing customers in after 3am and a further two of allowing licensable activities to take place after permitted hours.

Mr Sengo’s solicitor argued that licensable activities were not taking place on the dates mentioned and that officers from the joint council and police licensing team had only visited the premises on one of the dates in question.

However magistrates ruled that if licensable activities were not taking place then door supervisors would not have been necessary and more than 50 people were seen on CCTV queuing to gain entry.

Sengo was fined �200 for each offence and ordered to pay the council’s legal costs of almost �2,000.

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Cllr Ian Corbett, executive member for environment, said: “We will not tolerate club bosses who deliberately flout the licensing regulations. We will continue to crack down on irresponsible clubs.”

The club’s licence was subsequently suspended in October last year pending a full review following an alleged violent incident outside. It has remained closed ever since and will remain closed until health and safety and fire prevention works have been completed.

Residents who suspect that a club or business are breaching the conditions of their licence, from trading outside their permitted hours to illegal alcohol sales, should contact the council’s licensing team on (020) 3373 1925.