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Auction House closed after glass attack, Ashford

A town centre bar has been shut by a landlord after a punter suffered serious injuries in a glass attack.

Signs have appeared on the doors of the Auction House bar at New Street in Ashford, which state the landlord has forfeited the lease of those running the bar.

It follows a licensing review brought by Kent Police, which says several serious incidents had plagued the popular venue.

The Auction House bar in Ashford
The Auction House bar in Ashford

A report prepared for the council’s licensing sub-committee says that in September a man was glassed in an attack labelled by police as causing grievous bodily harm to the victim.

Police say door staff removed the group but failed to detain the offender responsible. Trouble then spilled over onto the streets outside.

They also had difficulty in getting hold of CCTV footage from the incident, which was a large part of why a licensing review was brought.

The report also criticises the "ineffectiveness" of the designated premises supervisor.

Since September last year, officers say there have been 11 other assaults which have caused victims actual bodily harm (ABH), four common assaults, one sexual assault, one theft, and one affray at the premises.

Signs have appeared in the door at the Autcion House
Signs have appeared in the door at the Autcion House

It follows previous reviews at the premises following the attack on Lancashire cricketer Liam Livingstone, who was glassed in the face and suffered deep cuts near his eyes after a night out in August 2015.

At that time, the bar started serving alcohol in plastic glasses, but a licensing sub-committee review held a month later agreed not to impose stricter controls.

Acting Chief Inspector Andrew Bidmead brought the licensing review, and committee members will have a range of options available.

These include the ability to change the rules about what activities are allowed in the bar or to remove the designated licence supervisor, who is listed as Alan Daly.

Powers also include the ability to suspend the licence for three months, or even to revoke the licence for the premises.

On the sign on the door, owner Ian Sellers wrote: “To whom it may concern. Be advised that the lease of this property has been forfeited by authority of the landlord.”

When contacted about the circumstances of the closure, Mr Sellers replied: “No comment.”

Ashford Borough Council’s licensing sub-committee will discuss the report at a meeting to be held at 10am on Tuesday, November 21.

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