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Nightclub where non-league footballer stabbed to death has license suspended as police reveal ‘chaotic’ scenes of staff removing drugs from dance floor

A nightclub where a non-league footballer was stabbed to death has been suspended as police revealed “chaotic” scenes in which staff removed drugs from a dance floor while the victim lay dying.

Cody Fisher, 23, was stabbed while out on Boxing Day at the popular Crane nightclub on Adderley Street in Digbeth, Birmingham.

Police and paramedics entered the nightclub-sized warehouse at 11:45 p.m., but despite desperate attempts to save Cody, he died 30 minutes later.

Three men have been arrested on suspicion of murder.

Sub-Licensing Council of Birmingham City Today (Friday) the board suspended Crane’s license to operate a nightclub or sell alcohol pending review.

In a statement to the committee, Superintendent Sally Simpson of the West Midlands

Police said: “Officers who were originally on the scene described a scene of chaos and evidence of drug use at the premises.

“After entering the premises, officers were asked by security to assist with crowd control, which they said no, and he ran to start CPR and assist paramedics at the scene.

“While wearing personal clothing, you will see staff roaming around the place as they are oblivious to what is going on.

“In addition, they began to clean the dance floor further away from where the deceased was, officers shouting for them to stop.

“While officers are performing CPR, you can see people moving freely around the scene.

“As soon as more officers arrived on the scene, they were removed and the entire dance floor was cordoned off and the area sterilized.

“There were hundreds of small drug bags and nitrous oxide canisters on the floor.

“These included small and very large nitrous oxide canisters with balloons.

“West Midlands Police are concerned about how a knife may have entered the premises.


“Any control measures that could have been applied to the premises were found to be ineffective.

“The situation is exacerbated by the fact that officers saw evidence of drug use in a venue that was open to the public on the dance floor.

“In addition, the chaos observed by officers, with staff seemingly having no idea how to manage the situation or secure the scene, again points to a lack of or poor control measures and training.”

< p>The chair of the committee, councilor Diane Donaldson, said: “Following an application by West Midlands Police under section 53A of the Licensing Act 2003, to be suspended pending a full review hearing within 28 days.”

Damian Eston, 41, is the director of Digital Arts Media Ltd, which is the license holder for the 3,500 seat Crane nightclub.

Mr Eston, who lives in a sprawling 500,000 detached house in Atherstone, Warks, was present at the virtual meeting but only spoke through his lawyer.

Solicitor Duncan Craig, representing Crane, said his client would not object to a request to suspend the club’s licence.

He told the committee: “We are here in appalling circumstances.

“I received a WhatsApp message from my client [Mr Eston] on the morning of the 27th, and it was then clear to me that there was no intention of reopening on New Year’s Eve.”

He added that his client had “one or two issues” with “certain issues that were stated in the request for reconsideration” raised by the police.

Details have not been made public, but Craig said the 28-day review period will provide an opportunity to “understand better what happened that terrible night.”

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