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Gallery nightclub's licence temporarily suspended after Andre Bent 'murder'

A nightclub has had its licence temporarily suspended in the wake of a suspected murder committed after a gig at the venue.

Andre Bent, 21, was fatally stabbed in Jubilee Square, Maidstone following a well-attended performance by rapper MoStack, real name Montell Daley, at the Gallery in Bank Street last month.

Forensic officers outside the Gallery Nightclub. Picture: Jim Bennett
Forensic officers outside the Gallery Nightclub. Picture: Jim Bennett

Kent Police applied to review the club's premises licence last week, on the grounds of "serious crime", which was first revealed after an email exchange between a councillor and a member of the town hall's legal team was shared with KentOnline.

Now the council has revealed Gallery's licence has been suspended ahead of the full review, which will be heard by a sub-committee next month.

A spokesman said: "Following an application from Kent Police, Maidstone Borough Council as the Licensing Authority, was asked to determine whether it was necessary to take interim steps in respect of the premises licence held by The Gallery, in Bank Street, Maidstone, prior to a full review of the premises, which will take place before October 2.

"On September 6, having heard representations from Kent Police and the premises licence holder, the Licensing Sub-Committee determined that the interim step of suspending the premises licence was necessary, pending the full review.

"The public notice allows other parties to submit their comments by September 18, all those comments will be considered when determining the licence at the full review."

Andre Bent (right) with sister Michaela and cousin Louis (16118224)
Andre Bent (right) with sister Michaela and cousin Louis (16118224)

Club director Trevor Modell announced in the days after the tragedy he was planning to close the venue and sell up following a huge backlash on social media, in which more than 5,000 people demanded it shut for good.

In a statement he added that the club would be "honouring all outside events that want to keep their bookings".

However, the nearby Fever and Boutique venue announced on Sunday morning it would be hosting a Raver Tots event, initially scheduled for the Gallery, later that day.

Workers were also seen taking large quantities of alcohol out of the Gallery and into a van on Friday, though they declined to tell KentOnline why drinks were being packed away.

Mr Modell refused to comment when approached.

Forensic officers outside the Gallery Nightclub. Picture: Jim Bennett
Forensic officers outside the Gallery Nightclub. Picture: Jim Bennett

An anti-knife crime rally took place in the town centre over the weekend, in which campaigners called for action.

A 16-year-old boy accused of Mr Bent's murder, along with four others charged with violent disorder, will appear at Maidstone Crown Court on September 24, when pleas are expected to be taken.

Read more: All the latest news from Maidstone


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