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Prince of Wales pub, Rochester, loses licence after knife attack

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A pub has had its licence revoked with immediate effect following a violent attack.

An appeal was submitted to Medway council's licensing committee after a man in his 20s had his face slashed during an after-hours drinking session at The Prince of Wales pub in Cecil Road, Rochester.

The victim lost more than a litre of blood and needed 40 stitches from his scalp to his cheek. The wound narrowly missed his right eye.

A man's face was slashed at the Prince of Wales pub
A man's face was slashed at the Prince of Wales pub

Police called for the pub to be closed following the incident in the early hours of Saturday, March 10, and the landlord had his licence suspended on the grounds that the premises was associated with "serious crime and disorder".

It was revoked at a meeting this morning. The full decision is due to be published on the council's website soon.

Officers have been monitoring the venue amid concerns of drug abuse, under-age drinking and serving drinks after permitted hours.

A warning letter had been sent to landlord Alfred Martin as a result of their investigation.

Prince of Wales in Rochester (1363408)
Prince of Wales in Rochester (1363408)

Supt. Vaughan Lukey feared it could be "a flashpoint for further incidents or reprisals" should it remain open prior to a full review within 28 days.

CCTV required as part of the licence conditions was not recording at the time.

Mr Martin told the council panel that it had been switched off five days beforehand and he was waiting for a part. He confirmed the suspect had visited the pub over the previous three weeks, but had not caused any problems.

The opening hours to sell alcohol are Friday to Saturday from 10am to midnight. Police were called to reports of the violent disturbance at 1.20am.

A report to the licensing hearing said: "The crime scene (bar area and blood) was cleaned by staff prior to police arrival potentially hindering the investigation and possible forensic opportunity".

It added: "At this stage it is suspected that a large knife or machete was used as a weapon to cause the injury.

A 17-year-old has been arrested on suspicion of assault. He has been released pending further inquiries.

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