A nighbclub representative has said that local businesses in Digbeth felt “anguish and anger” at the reputational damage the Crane nightclub in Digbeth had caused following the death of Cody Fisher.
The Crane had its licence revoked at the hearing following the death of Mr Fisher who was stabbed on the premises on Boxing Day. The decision means that following petitions by West Midlands Police and local businesses, the nightclub is now set to remain closed.
Three men have been charged with Cody’s murder. Kami Carpenter, aged 21, and Remy Gordon, aged 22, were charged with murder and affray on December 31, 2022. Reegan Anderson was detained on 12 January in connection with the death of Cody, who was fatally wounded at the Crane club on 26 December.
‘All the hard work has been tarnished’
Abdul Rohomon, representing Lab 11 – another nightclub in Digbeth – said businesses in the area felt “anguish and anger” at the reputation damage the Crane had caused - in particular as Digbeth is undergoing major regeneration.
Speaking at Birmingham City Council‘s Licensing Committee on Tuesday (24 January), he said: “Sometimes things go wrong. That does happen, but you learn from your years of experience how to manage large events and put in the most robust procedures as possible.”
Damian Eston is the director of Digital Arts Media Ltd, which operated Crane. Mr Rohomon, said: “[Damian Eston] has been involved in promoting events. He’s been involved with very large festivals around Birmingham. He knows how the Birmingham scene operates. He knows what’s expected of him. All the hard work of five six years – untold business hours, untold amounts of money to repair this reputation – has been tarnished by one.”
Mr Rohomon told councillors at the committee hearing that he had customers cancel their late bookings in Digbeth due to the fatal stabbing.
“Business bookings for New Year’s Eve fell. People [were] literally phoning the premises asking: ‘Is it safe to come to Birmingham?’ Events that should attract over a thousand people to our venues are being sold for up to 300 below because people will not come out. They’re scared.”
Nicholas Leviseur, a barrister representing, Digital Arts Media Ltd which operates Crane, said the revocation of the licence was “wholly inappropriate”. He said: “The rhetorical question that the police pose ought to be answered against the background of risk assessment.
“I do not wish in public sessions to make any comment at all about what may have led to the tragic death of a young man. Those matters are not appropriate for venting in public.
“They are relevant to risk assessment. The evidence, and it is not controverted, has been set out in the bundles provided by the licensee. It is instructed to look at what has been asserted as opposed to what the factual position is.”