'Crime club' Essence loses latest legal bid to reopen

Kingston 'crime club' Essence loses latest legal bid to reopen

Kingston 'crime club' Essence loses latest legal bid to reopen

Owner Franco Lumba, who has a criminal conviction for assaulting an ex-girlfriend, has offered to sell the club to keep it open

First published in News
Last updated
Surrey Comet: Photograph of the Author by , Deputy editor

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.

Comments (4)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

10:38am Tue 24 Jun 14

DB says...

Good news. Let's just hope we can keep this place shut, or better yet opened up as something completely different.
Good news. Let's just hope we can keep this place shut, or better yet opened up as something completely different. DB
  • Score: 27

8:12pm Tue 24 Jun 14

0753waterloo says...

Probably should have got better licensing experts.
Probably should have got better licensing experts. 0753waterloo
  • Score: 10

1:13pm Wed 25 Jun 14

grace86 says...

Congratulations to the Lib Dems, and Councillor Stephen Brister in particular, for courageously standing up to the morally bankrupt & criminal who wanted to keep this sordid den open.

Most of the clientele (& owner Franco Lumba) had criminal convictions. The large range of crimes covered manslaughter; attempted murder; possession of firearms and ammunition; sexual assault; robbery; burglary; drug dealing; assault; and assault on police.

No decent law abiding Kingston resident would be expected to want this repulsive place kept open. Yet the current chair of Kingston & Surbiton Conservatives, Cllr Phil Doyle, did just that. At the licensing hearing, acting as "licensing expert", Conservative chairman Mr Doyle advised attendees that the club should be allowed to stay open with some reduction in hours.

Residents want to know whether Conservative Cllr Doyle or his company were getting paid by Essence night club at the time. Was Conservative Cllr Doyle or his company taking money from the Franco Lumba empire whilst residents, the police and the then Lib Dem run council were fighting for decency and against criminality?

Fellow Conservative "consultant", Kevin Davis has since appointed Cllr Doyle as head of night club licensing at the council. Are these consultants, peddling their inside knowledge of council workings for cash, the sort of people we should trust with protecting the Kingston public's interests?

The Lib Dems and Police worked hard to make Kingston the safest borough in London, ahead of boroughs that don't have large shopping centres or any nighttime economy. That was a superb achievement. Many decent law abiding Kingston residents don't trust the new Tory regime, nose deep in the lobbyist/consultant trough, to be able to maintain Kingston as a place operated in the public interest, not vested interests.
Congratulations to the Lib Dems, and Councillor Stephen Brister in particular, for courageously standing up to the morally bankrupt & criminal who wanted to keep this sordid den open. Most of the clientele (& owner Franco Lumba) had criminal convictions. The large range of crimes covered manslaughter; attempted murder; possession of firearms and ammunition; sexual assault; robbery; burglary; drug dealing; assault; and assault on police. No decent law abiding Kingston resident would be expected to want this repulsive place kept open. Yet the current chair of Kingston & Surbiton Conservatives, Cllr Phil Doyle, did just that. At the licensing hearing, acting as "licensing expert", Conservative chairman Mr Doyle advised attendees that the club should be allowed to stay open with some reduction in hours. Residents want to know whether Conservative Cllr Doyle or his company were getting paid by Essence night club at the time. Was Conservative Cllr Doyle or his company taking money from the Franco Lumba empire whilst residents, the police and the then Lib Dem run council were fighting for decency and against criminality? Fellow Conservative "consultant", Kevin Davis has since appointed Cllr Doyle as head of night club licensing at the council. Are these consultants, peddling their inside knowledge of council workings for cash, the sort of people we should trust with protecting the Kingston public's interests? The Lib Dems and Police worked hard to make Kingston the safest borough in London, ahead of boroughs that don't have large shopping centres or any nighttime economy. That was a superb achievement. Many decent law abiding Kingston residents don't trust the new Tory regime, nose deep in the lobbyist/consultant trough, to be able to maintain Kingston as a place operated in the public interest, not vested interests. grace86
  • Score: 27

9:57am Sat 28 Jun 14

marina68 says...

When Cllr Do
When Cllr Do marina68
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree