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'Crime club' Essence loses latest legal bid to reopen
Essence nightclub owner Franco Lumba has failed in his bid to have the decision to revoke his venue’s licence overturned in the High Court.
The former Gala Bingo hall owner’s company, FL Trading, was unsuccessful in its attempt to have the decision to revoke the license ruled invalid.
It claimed the closure order was invalid because it had not been signed by Kingston police borough commander Glenn Tunstall, which it said was required by statute.
Essence, in Buckland’s Wharf, was closed by Kingston Council at the request of the Metropolitan Police after an alleged 30-man brawl outside the club in December.
The licensing heard more than half of the 210 identified clubbers that night had criminal convictions which included manslaughter, attempted murder, possession of firearms and ammunition, sexual assault, robbery, burglary, drug dealing, and assault on police.
Sup Tunstall was on holiday at the time of the fight, so acting superintendent Gary Taylor signed the forms.
James Rankin, appearing on behalf of the Met Police Commissioner, said delegating duties to a deputy was written in case law.
Judge Frances Patterson ruled FL Trading’s case was “unarguable”, and also dismissed an allegation of bias.
FL Trading still has the option to appeal the decision through the magistrates’ court, she added.
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